Play area will ease fears over surgery

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS -

Dundee’s new op­er­at­ing the­atre for chil­dren will al­low young­sters with a wider range of con­di­tions to be treated in a child-friendly en­vi­ron­ment, ac­cord­ing to an NHS Tay­side play spe­cial­ist.

Max­ine Steele, who works at Tay­side Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal in Ninewells, ex­plained that young pa­tients re­ceiv­ing den­tal surgery have pre­vi­ously had to make do with a po­ten­tially daunt­ing generic space.

The new fa­cil­ity, built by

NHS Tay­side and The ARCHIE Foun­da­tion, is bright and spa­cious, with ac­cess to out­door play space and the ser­vices of play spe­cial­ists.

These pro­fes­sion­als guide chil­dren through the treat­ment process with the aid of toys, games and demon­stra­tions.

Ms Steele said: “Our role is to make com­ing to hos­pi­tal a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence for the chil­dren.

“We pre­pare them for go­ing to the­atre, ex­plain­ing to them that they will be go­ing to sleep for a bit and show­ing them some of the equip­ment, so that they’re pre­pared.

“We keep the chil­dren calm and re­laxed through play, which is tai­lored to the child’s age and stage of de­vel­op­ment.

“In the new fa­cil­ity, more chil­dren will ben­e­fit from that sup­port. It will make a dif­fer­ence to den­tal pa­tients as there will be more space and they will be able to re­ceive treat­ment there.”

Ms Steele ex­plained play spe­cial­ists ac­com­pany chil­dre to the­atre and give sup­port through­out their stay.

Younger chil­dren are taken to the­atre in a toy car to ease anx­i­ety.

She added: “We get the child on our side and build up a re­la­tion­ship fol­low­ing their jour­ney through surgery.

“We also sup­port the par­ents, who are some­times more anx­ious than the chil­dren.”

Max­ine Steele says play helps chil­dren stay calm be­fore surgery.

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