The Importance of Play in Healthcare Settings

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In this webinar, Judi discusses why we need “play” in healthcare settings. This may seem like a really strange combination of the serious nature in healthcare service provision, where life and death decisions are made, and play?

Dr Parson says the reason we need play is because it provides an entry point to communicate with children. In play, children are given the tools to explain more fully their thoughts and feelings than with words alone and as such play is an ever-expanding vocabulary for the paediatric nurse and children in their care.

So how do we understand and talk child play?

This webinar includes information about what constitutes play and how play develops sequentially including the way the brain develops and how we can tailor play activities for children. Understanding normative play development helps us to work with children who may have play deficits due to chronic or life-threatening illnesses and therefore how to support their holistic development.

In this session, you will:

  • Gain an understanding of the importance of play in healthcare settings
  • Acquire knowledge regarding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Gain an awareness of what constitutes play
  • Receive information regarding age-appropriate play

Course Content

Total learning: 1 lesson Time: 1 hour

About The Paediatric Nurse

Our Story

The Paediatric Nurse was founded by Brooke Batchelor, a paediatric nurse and qualified teacher, after she experienced the frustration of finding affordable and accessible continuing professional development that was relevant to her paediatric nursing practice. Through this frustration, she decided to set up an online platform that assisted paediatric nurses in meeting their continuing professional development (CPD) annual registration standard requirement, with the Nursing and Midwifery Board Australia. In August 2018, The Paediatric Nurse CPD/CE platform was launched and began delivering live and recorded webinars featuring expert speakers from all over the world.

Our Vision

We believe that with access to relevant, affordable and evidence-based professional development, all members of the paediatric healthcare team can provide opportunities for children & their families to have a voice and receive care that is meets all of their needs. Our profit-for-purpose business model ensures a sustainable, long-term goal of improving paediatric healthcare experiences through programs that fund paediatric post-graduate training for nurses, funding hospital familiarisation programs and supporting play therapy programs to assist with aftercare or post-hospitalisation readjustment. We look forward to a future where children feel part of the decision making in their care and suffer no trauma related to their healthcare experience.

Our Mission

We exist so that you can receive evidence-based CPD/CE that is affordable, accessible and relevant to your practice by breaking down the barriers that prevent you from meeting with the experts. AND We exist to advocate for children in healthcare ensuring that they receive care that considers the whole child within the context of their family and the effects that the care they receive may have on their emotional wellbeing.

Our Values

• Empowerment – by providing engaging and relevant CPD/CE opportunities, we hope to influence the future directions of paediatric healthcare in Australia • Advocacy – we take child health and protection seriously and as registered nurses, we aim to advocate for Australian children to ensure their needs and rights are met • Access – the opportunity to speak directly to the experts and access the latest in evidenced-based care • Community – we encourage the essence of community and connection by making this space just as much yours as it is ours- your suggestions are always valued! • Passionate – our love for paediatric nursing is infectious • Selfcare – when nurses look after their own health & wellbeing, their practice can soar to new heights

Our Role

• Is an international online membership community that champions the success of paediatric nurses the world over • We provide continuing professional development (CPD) education/CE, training, resources and support for nurses via our online membership and social media channels • Helping paediatric nurses learn from world-wide experts • Inspires paediatric nurses to be leaders in their field • Provides content and resources to educate and inform paediatric nurses • Is an opinion leader and advocate on issues of importance to paediatric nurses across all communities


“I started as a student nurse in 1982 and went on to become a registered general nurse before specialising in paediatrics in 1995. In 2000, I became a nursing academic but continued clinical practice until 2009 on a part-time basis. While working as a paediatric registered nurse, I could see that many nurses agreed with the concept of family-centred care but had a lot of trouble putting it into practice for many reasons. We also aimed to provide atraumatic care but were not fully equipped with the knowledge or training on how to achieve this. I decided to complete my PhD, “Integration of procedural play for children undergoing invasive Cystic Fibrosis treatment: A nursing perspective”. However, this left me with more questions to answer. I wanted to understand better how I can help children experience atraumatic healthcare. I quickly realised that I needed to expand & incorporate the language of play therapy into my clinical work. So, in 2009 I travelled to the UK to undertake the Master of Play Therapy at Roehampton University London. I was very interested in working with children who had experienced bereavement, including grief and loss associated with having a medical condition or who had suffered medical trauma. I was also interested in supporting children who were dying and integrating alternative ways to communicate through therapeutic play, art, music and other creative techniques. I started my private practice in 2011 called Play Therapy World. With each referral, I focus on the child’s psychosocial health and well-being which includes the child’s family and community systems. In 2014, I was appointed to Deakin University to be part of the team to develop Australia’s first play therapy university course. Now we have a suite of postgraduate therapeutic play courses which may ultimately lead to professional recognition for graduates of the Master of Child Play Therapy.”


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In this session, you will:

  • Gain an understanding of the importance of play in healthcare settings
  • Acquire knowledge regarding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Gain an awareness of what constitutes play
  • Receive information regarding age-appropriate play



TOPIC: Paediatric Assessment Understanding Children's

Physiological Differences (1 hour)