The playroom

A bright spot for a younger hospitalized child.
Through the eyes of a child, a hospital is a big, scary place where much is out of their control. This creates stress. One of the most powerful and effective means of reducing a child’s stress is play. Having a special place to play (playroom), allows children to be active while they are in the hospital and increases their feelings of having control over what is happening to them.
Each morning I go to Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital to work with the children from the Pediatric Oncology ward; sometimes I have my worries, but in the first moment I walk in, they go away because the children are surrounding me, I see them waiting at the door of the playroom…so anxious to enter, so curious about the activities that will have during the day… so happy to see me; for 6 hours I become the person who gives them the key from the doors of “Never land”.

Playroom at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital in Bucharest

Playroom at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital in Bucharest

I noticed a fact: that room is a place where children really want to be….it provides hours of fun and entertainment for them, and also provides hours of learning and healing, help them feel more normal during their stay in hospital and their hard cancer treatment, is a way to ease young patients through the physical pain and anxiety of treatment. Also, I can tell you that, when illness or severe injury strikes a child, feeling “like a kid” can be crucial to recovery and future development, so, one of the most important parts of being a child is being able to play…and knowing this, we apply it in the playroom, we give them the chance to express themselves and feel a sense of achievement and belonging. Often the children, who enter here, become so engaged in their learning and play, that they lose track of time and forget about their surroundings.
On the other hand, allow parents to take a break while their child is supervised at playroom. So, the playroom is also beneficial to the parents of these children (some of them very poor, with social problems and coming from the country side), by creating a warm environment to escape from the stresses of hospitalization and treatment regimens.
It really is hard to present in few words the true value of the playroom or the “time” I spend there. I tried to be brief, we (volunteers and me) think that we help lift their spirits and bring a smile to their face, at least for 2 seconds… or more!!!

Raluca Tănase – play therapist

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.
You must be logged in to post a comment.