How play specialists can help

Play facilities are available at all times and our play specialists and play assistants are available Monday to Friday. The team work with our patients to help them get better by showing them how to cope with their situation and keeping them occupied with games, toys and activities.

You can also ask for individual support for any child who may be experiencing difficulties coping with examination, illness and treatment.

Children, including brothers or sisters, must not be left unattended in the play room. This is for the child’s protection, safety and security

Play specialists in the blood clinic   

Many children find coming for a blood test scary. It takes very experienced staff to know how to calm a fearful child and be able to complete the blood test in a quick and painless way.
Alongside our skilled phlebotomists, play specialists play a key role in the children’s out-patients department for children and young people who need blood tests. Our play specialists are skilled at distracting children and ensure that anxiety levels are kept to a minimum.

If you have any concerns about your child having a blood test or if you would like further advice, please speak to your nurse or a member of your ward team.

Play specialists in pre-assessment

The play team have an important role in helping to prepare children for surgery. Preparation for procedures offers the child and family the means to understand, accept and co-operate with what will happen.

Our play teams will meet your child in the pre-assessment clinic where they will begin by explaining what will happen at your child’s level of understanding. This will also give them the opportunity to ask questions and express any worries. Fear of hospital and procedures often comes from the fear of the unknown, so the more information they have the less frightening the experience will be. For younger children we will use dolls and real doctor’s kits as a way of explanation.

The play specialist also makes suggestions to parents about ways of supporting their child in the lead up to their operation.

Play specialists in day surgery

On the day of your child’s surgery a play specialist will be available to support your child in the anaesthetic room. By using good distraction techniques we can provide the child with coping strategies enabling treatment and procedures to be successful.

Play specialists in the ophthalmology clinic

A play specialist will be available in the eye clinic at Barnet Hospital every Wednesday between 8.30am and 4.30pm to help with distraction and provide art and craft activities throughout the day.