The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Megan Holmes

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What’s your role?

I am the Play Leader on the Paediatric Critical Care Unit (PICU). My role is to provide therapeutic play to children on critical care, to incorporate this into their daily routine for care on PICU, to bring stimulating activities for development and bring a little bit of normality to a very scary time for a child. I also ensure that patients have an opportunity to speak about how they feel, I adocate for them as well as being there to provide distraction from procedures. I support families and siblings to make sure they understand and what's happening to their loved one whilst on PICU. 

How do you use play in your department?

Play is vital part of a children's journey on PICU. It's an opportunity for children to express themselves and to enjoy being a child - no matter what else is happening. Play is a huge part of patent's rehabilitation and is used to ensure the child is stimulated and building core strength through exciting activities. Play is also used for preparation, using different resources to ensure a child understands and is prepared for what's going to happen to them. Play is also important for parents and families - I always try to involve parents inn play because I think it helps them, sometimes as much as the patients!  

What do you enjoy about your role?

I absolutely love my job role. I could not think of a better role for me to be in. Bringing joy to children on critical care, knowing that you have made a difference to that child's life is so rewarding! Bringing much needed support to families, children and siblings on critical care, having that time to give them to ensure that their journey on critical care is supported as much as possible. Just making a child smile, makes me smile. 

If you were not working here, what would you be doing?

I'd be a full-time shepherdess! I already have a flock of animals: sheep, alpacas, chickens, horses, cats and dogs! The love I have for farming is just incredible BUT I absolutely love my job now as a Play Leader! So, I do both and I've never been happier!