Child's Play Interview

  1. Q:How often do the patients use the donations?
    A:Yes. It acts as a distraction and reduces anxiety which can help patient's recovery go smoothly, and has been proven to help reduce dependence on pain medicine and often encourage mobility which can actually get patients ready to go home faster that they might have without these items!
  2. Q:Do you think the convalescence of a patient is swifter with the donations?
    A:It acts as a distraction and reduces anxiety.
  3. Q:What are some of the donations given to the hospital in past years?
    A:Some of the donations are I-pads, I-pod Touches, movies, game systems, DS.
  4. Q:Do you think the lives of the patients are better with the donations?
    A:Yes, because the donations give the children a better hospital experience. If a child's hospital experiences are positive, then this often helps to reduce anxiety for future medical experiences throughout their lives - even into adulthood.
  5. Q:How are the patients' anxiety levels measured?
    A:Anxiety levels are most often measured by observation of patients for physical and emotional signs of anxiety or stress (for example, crying, hiding, guarding, tensing their bodies vs. being engaged in a game, laughing, talking and showing a more relaxed physical state.)
  6. Q:How do the video games reduce the patient's stress levels?
    A:When patients are engaged in a game, it provides distraction from the many things going on around them. For example, games can be played while a child is going under anesthesia. They become engaged in the game and aren't looking around the room which can often be intimidating and scary as there are people wearing funny clothes (OR masks, hats, scrubs, gloves etc.) and there are instruments, monitors, lights and x-ray machines etc. If a child is engaged in a video game, they aren't looking at all of that other stuff. This helps them to relax and focus on something fun and positive as they breathe through the anesthesia mask until they fall asleep.
    Video games are also used to help kids pass the time if they have to stay in the hospital for any length of time. It often actually makes kids say they don't want to leave and makes it “not so bad” if they ever have to come back! It gives them something to look forward to and creates something positive during a time that may be perceived as negative.
  7. Q:How do you use the items for education?
    A:I'll explain. We have I-pads that were donated to us through Child's Play that allow us to develop teaching tools so we can show patients and families what to expect in different areas of the hospital or for different procedures or treatments. For example, if a child is having a procedure done on their femur (bone in their leg), we can use an app in the I-pad to show them an image of a skeleton and help explain where their femur is and what it looks like. If that patient is coming in for surgery, we can show them photos of the OR waiting room, the gurney they may have to lay on, some of the monitors that will be attached to them etc so that when they come in, there will be no surprises and they know what to expect. (That way they can just play video games etc and are able to relax more because they already know what is going to happen) There are many apps that relate to different parts of the body, different body systems, etc Đ but also apps that allow us to create photo slide shows so we can create any kind of teaching "book" we may need.
  8. Q:How did you find out about Child's Play?
    A:The Child's Play program was recently introduced to Shriners Hospital by two of our generous donors over the 2011 holiday season. They are gamers themselves and informed us about this amazing program. We are so grateful!

This is Jessica Hagerman, the person we interviewed, with a patient.

She is the Child's Life Supervisor at Shriner's Hospital in Springfield, MA.