Health play specialist

Alternative titles for this job include Hospital play specialist

Health play specialists understand child development and use therapeutic play activities to help children cope when in hospital.

Average salary (a year)

£21,089 Starter

to

£30,112 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

weekends

How to become a health play specialist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role

University

You'll need a foundation degree in a healthcare play specialism to register with the Healthcare Play Specialist Education Trust. This is a 2-year, part-time course. To get onto the course, you usually need:

  • a childcare qualification at level 3 or above
  • GCSEs or equivalent in English and maths
  • at least 2 years' experience of working with children - paid or voluntary

Courses are a mix of practical work and theory. If you're not already working in healthcare play, you need to arrange a placement during the course.

More information

Work

You could start as a play assistant with a relevant childcare qualification at level 3 and work your way up by training on the job.

Volunteering and experience

You can do volunteering in a healthcare setting.

More information

Career tips

Many health play specialists have a background in nursery work. You could also do this job with experience and qualifications in related areas, like community play, nursing, occupational therapy, social work, teaching, art, drama or music therapy.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a health play specialist from the Healthcare Play Specialist Education Trust and the National Association of Health Play Specialists.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to understand people‚Äôs reactions
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

You will need to find an experienced and qualified Healthcare Play Specialist Education Trust (HPSET) Registered Health Play Specialist who is willing to mentor and assess you in the workplace. When you have successfully completed both the work-based and academic requirements you will be eligible to register with HPSET. Registration is voluntary but recommended.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • carrying out therapeutic assessments
  • designing play activities to meet children's individual needs
  • planning and running play, art and craft activities at the bedside, on the ward or in a hospital play area
  • creating an environment that encourages play
  • talking to parents or carers about the value of play and suggesting suitable activities
  • organising parties and other special events

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

You could go on to work outside of a hospital setting, for example in a child development centre, hospice, or within a community paediatric team.

With experience, you could progress to team leader or team manager.

You could also apply to train as a healthcare professional, like a nurse or occupational therapist.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a health play specialist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Level 3 CACHE Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)

  • Provider: Hull College
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Harrogate

Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) (VRQ)

  • Provider: BROOKLANDS COLLEGE
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: Weybridge

JobsIn the United Kingdom

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