The Play Service, CUH
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am – 4.30pm.
The Play Service is supervised by the Play Specialist and supported by Children in Hospital Ireland volunteers. The role of the Hospital Play Specialist (H.P.S.) is to provide normal and therapeutic play and support for children and teenagers in hospital. Types of play include; role play, medical play, distraction, arts and crafts and entertainment for patients and their siblings.
Coming to hospital can be a daunting experience for children, young people and their parents. Play is important for children because of the way it helps them to understand their world. Play promotes learning, growth and development, relaxation, fun and socialisation. When children are sick in hospital their usual routines are disrupted and they may be separated from their family and other familiar activities and pets for periods of time. Being able to play while in hospital means that, children can continue an aspect of their normal life.
- Play can help the child become more at ease with the unfamiliar surroundings and experiences of hospital.
- Through play the child can express their worries and feelings.
- Play provides an opportunity for children to make choices so that they can retain a sense of control.
The Playroom is currently situated on Puffin ward on the 5th Floor. It is a safe zone where no medical procedures are performed and offers relief from the hectic pace of the hospital environment and where toddlers can explore freely. If a child/teen is too ill to come to the playroom or cannot come because of isolation or bedrest (or they simply prefer to stay in their room) then play can be provided at the bedside. Children, young people and their siblings can express themselves through play and arts and crafts activities. Parents can also relax and feel involved in their child’s activities. Older children and teenagers are provided for with a selection of books, board games, Nintendo DS’s, Tablets and Arts and Craft activities.
Play is also provided on Ladybird ward for <18months old inpatients, on Seahorse Day Unit and the Paediatric Assessment Unit where several unsupervised play areas are also available.
Cork University Hospital School is a primary school based in Puffin Ward. It is a special school, funded by the Department of Education and Skills and managed by a Board of Management. It caters for children who are hospitalised and are deemed well enough by the medical staff to attend. Our school room has lots of resources available: textbooks and library books, touch screen computers and iPads and art materials, music workshops, all to make your child's learning enjoyable during their time in hospital.
It is our aim that children who are enrolled carry on with their normal studies and keep pace with the curriculum in a child-centred, caring and compassionate way. If your child is unable to visit the classroom one of our teachers can visit them on the ward. Our school has two teachers, Gobnait Curran and Ber Annis who are members of HOPE, the organisation for hospital schools in Europe. We cover the primary school curriculum and we are open from 8:50 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. In as far as is practicable, we also facilitate secondary school students in keeping touch with their studies.
Members of the Defence Forces visited the school in CUH on the 4th March 2016 to present the National Flag and read the Proclamation
Kids Classics is a music experience that brings together some of Ireland’s leading professional musicians in an educational, fun and interactive experience for children. A group of professional musicians visit once a month to perform for the children and conduct music workshops.
If you want to go online on your phone or tablet, you can access the hospital’s free WiFi. Ask your nurse for the guest password.
Special celebrity visitors come to the children’s wards in the hospital regularly. You and your child might be lucky enough to meet your favourite sports star, character, celebrity or singer.
Cork City Team visits us A visit from Munster Rugby Team
Safe in the arms of Munster Rugby! Rob Heffernan shares his Gold with us!
Irish Therapy Dogs
We have a regular visiting Golden Retriever named Millie whom the children, parents and staff adore.
Barretstown Hospital Outreach Programme
The Barretstown Hospital Outreach Programme (HOP) brings the magic of Barretstown to the bedside! Specifically designed to run in hospitals, HOP allows children who cannot travel to Barretstown to experience the benefits of the Barretstown programme. Trained volunteers, who have all worked at camp before, set up in the hospital once a month and run activities for children and adolescent patients, applying the techniques of the Therapeutic Recreation model.
Helium Arts and Health Organisation
They hold participatory arts programmes for children and teenagers throughout the year. For seven months in 2015 one of their artists worked with our teenage patients and produced an interactive radio play “Radio/Silence” which has been broadcast on CUH Radio. It will be exhibited in Cork City Hall in April 2016 and will be taken on a tour of hospitals nationwide.