Play Therapy in NGHA
The Pediatric Center has 25 beds to serve the needs of younger patients, and consists of Wards 7-9: Pediatric Cardiac and PCIU. Frequently, with difficult cases such as kidney transplants, accident recovery and many other operations, children will stay in the ward for long periods of time, sometimes over a month.
In such cases it is vital for the children to stay active and occupied in order to relieve frustration, pain and depression. To this end, the NGHA has retained a small staff in the Playroom to work with younger patients, usually infants to 13 year old. The Playroom is located in Ward 8 of the National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh.
The Play Therapists plan out activities for the children on a daily basis. Children participate in painting, coloring, creating art projects, watching puppet shows or TV, and having fun on the Playstation. The Playroom also has some computers with games for ages 10 and up.
When the patients are in isolation or are not able to go to the Playroom, the Therapists go to their rooms to carry out the specified activities with them. The main goal of the Therapists is to help keep the patients active and to relieve boredom. Additionally, they help those patients who are having difficulty dealing with their pain and injuries. The presence of the Playroom and the efforts of the Therapists can make a big difference for those children who spend time in the Pediatric Wards.