Health Play SpecialistJob Description:
Health play specialists understand child development and use therapeutic play activities to help children cope when in hospital.Job Category:
What you will do:
As part of this role you may:
- carry out therapeutic assessments
- design play activities to meet children’s individual needs
- plan and run play, art and craft activities at the bedside, on the ward or in a hospital play area
- create an environment that encourages play
- talk to parents or carers about the value of play and suggest suitable activities
- organise parties and other special events
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- knowledge of psychology
- customer service skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
As well as:
To become a Health Play Specialist, you will typically need a combination of formal education, relevant qualifications, and practical experience. While there are no specific subjects required for this role, having a strong educational foundation and certain skills can be advantageous. Here are some relevant subjects and skills:
- English Language: Effective communication skills, including verbal and written communication, are essential for interacting with children, their families, and healthcare professionals.
- Biology or Science: A basic understanding of biology or science can be helpful in understanding the medical conditions of children and how play therapy can be used to support their recovery.
- Psychology: Knowledge of child psychology can be beneficial in understanding children’s emotional and psychological needs and how play can help address them.
- Mathematics: Basic math skills can be important for tasks like keeping records and managing resources efficiently.
- Art or Creative Subjects: Creativity is a key component of play therapy, so subjects related to art or creative activities can be valuable.
- Physical Education (PE): Understanding the importance of physical activity and play in a child’s development can be useful.
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
You’ll need a foundation degree in a healthcare play specialism. To get onto the course, you usually need:
- a childcare qualification
- to have studied English and maths
- at least 2 years’ experience of working with children – paid or voluntary
Courses are a mix of practical work and theory. If you’re not already working in healthcare play, you need to arrange a placement during the course.
You may be able to do a health play specialist practitioner higher apprenticeship.
You will need some experience of working with children in a childcare or healthcare setting.
Volunteering in a healthcare setting will give you useful work experience for applying for courses and jobs.
Working Hours and Environment:
A typical week consists of 37-39 hours of work. You could be required to work weekends.
You could work in a public or private hospital. You may need to wear a uniform.
Career Path & Progression:
You could go on to work outside of a hospital setting, for example in a child development centre, hospice, or within a community paediatric team.
With experience, you could progress to team leader or team manager.
You could also apply to train as a healthcare professional, like a nurse or occupational therapist.