Pediatric patients were able to switch roles with their caregivers for the annual “Doctor for a Day” event, in which they treat pretend illnesses and broken bones on their patients – their own doctors and nurses. “Patients” were able to receive treatment on gurneys positioned in the Children’s Hospital’s lobby, which transformed into a waiting room and clinical area for the afternoon. Young doctors even had the opportunity to give “shots” with needle-less syringes.
Every year, Child Life specialists at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital coordinate the annual “Doctor for a Day” activity to celebrate national Child Life Month in March. By allowing patients to play the part of the doctor, they may be less anxious about the procedures that may be performed on them during their stay at the hospital. “Doctor for a Day helps empower our patients and provide a sense of control as they get to be the medical provider,” said Hadley Trull, Child Life Supervisor of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. “Often, choices and control are taken away during an inpatient or outpatient experience, and allowing children to play through difficult situations can be more than powerful.”