Mercy Children's Hospital
At Mercy Children’s Hospital, child life specialists maintain a playroom. This area is considered a safe haven for pediatric patients. This means that no medical interventions, tests, or procedures can be done in this area. In the playroom, children are free to make choices. This is important because pediatric patients cannot always be afforded choices in other aspects of their care.
The safe and creative atmosphere of the playroom encourages children to feel free to express themselves and to explore their feelings about illness and hospitalization. Here, children engage in therapeutic play and recreational activities with other children. They benefit, as well, from interactions with child-life pecialists and volunteers who are not directly involved in their medical care. Playroom choices range from movies, video games and computers, to arts and crafts of all kinds; and from dolls and trucks to infant gyms and toddler riding toys. Almost all of the toys and activities in the playroom are also available for use with pediatric patients who are confined to their hospital rooms.
The playroom maintains scheduled hours.Activities
Special visitors and special activities add their own dimension to a child’s hospital stay. Child life specialists are responsibile for arranging such visits and activities. Dr. I.C. Giggles performs clowning routines and magic, bringing smiles to our patients, family and staff. Believing that laughter is, indeed, among the best medicines, he fills his doctor’s bag with tricks designed to bring humor to the inpatient pediatric unit. Several days a week, therapy dogs visit our patients in their rooms. These dogs are trained and licensed through Therapy Dogs International. Each dog has his/her own special way of comforting the children.
In addition to all of the other things that Child Life Specialists do, they never miss a chance to celebrate a patient’s birthday, a special occasion or a holiday on the pediatric inpatient unit. Their ultimate goals are to make hospitalized children comfortable and to make their time spent in the hospital as much like home as possible!Child Life Specialists
Child life specialists will provide developmentally appropriate activities and play experiences for your child during his or her hospital stay. These opportunities may either take place in the playroom or at the child’s bedside. Child life specialists can assist you in obtaining educational services for your child if a long absence from school is expected.They may also help your child get ready for tests and procedures he or she may have while hospitalized. They also provide pre-admission tours of our pediatric facility.