Sacha Morris is a Play Specialist on Sky Ward at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
In her podcast interview with TeenGOSH presenter Mitchell, she tells us why play specialists aren't just there to help younger patients.
Mitchell: “You’re listening to a TeenGOSH podcast all about who’s who at Great Ormond Street Hospital. My name is Mitchell and I’m 18 years old. I came to GOSH at about a week old for craniofacial surgery. Let me introduce you to some of the people you might meet if you come to GOSH as a teenager.”
Sacha: “Hi I’m Sacha Morris the Play Specialist on Sky Ward.”
Mitchell: “What kind of things do you support teenagers with?”
Sacha: “Mostly supporting our teenagers when they come into hospital for their operations and things. So we get to meet them at the pre-op clinic and then find out what their interests are and hobbies and things and then if they’ve got any anxieties or worries or anything then we can work through them and find out how we can help them.”
Mitchell: “Are there any stories you can tell us about when you’ve helped teenage patients?”
Sacha: “We had a boy who used to come in and he used to get quite anxious when he came in and he used to have a pre-med. And then when we moved to our new ward we had a sensory room. So in the sensory room we have a multimedia projector what projects the DVDs on the big screen on the wall so it’s a bit like a cinema room. So when he come in next time we asked him to bring his own DVD in and see if that would help relax him watching his DVD and being in with his popcorn and, you know things like that the night before and then the next day just finishing off his DVD in the room. So he done that, tried it once and it worked without having his pre-med and he was nice and relaxed when he went down to theatre.
"We’ve had adolescents – we’ve had 16th birthday parties on the ward as well. So in our sensory room there’s a disco ball and spotlights and things. And we’ve had other teenagers who need to do their exams in hospital as well so we’ve helped provide the school and teachers and just a room where they’ve had their exams.”
Mitchell: “What’s the best thing about your job?”
Sacha: “Just helping people is really nice. Usually when I go home on a Friday they’ve just come back from theatre with all their wires on and things like this, and I come back on Monday and they’re much brighter and much more alert. So it’s really nice to come back in on a Monday and see them looking a lot better and getting better as well.”
Mitchell: “What’s your favourite activity to do with young people in the hospital?”
Sacha: “Usually with the adolescents and things is just chatting, we just have a nice chat about the local – the newest groups coming out and their football teams or what’s going on in their school and things. It’s quite nice with the older ones who can do more intense like art and craft activities – a bit more like the bead making and things like that and jewellery making and things like that as well. So just kind of more appropriate things for adolescents really.
Mitchell: “OK, and last question where can we find play specialists at the hospital?”
Sacha: “Usually there’s one on every ward and we also have play workers in the hospital as well. You know, if you contact your local ward there’s usually one attached to that ward or around the hospital anyway so they should be able to find one easily in the hospital.”
Mitchell: “You’ve been listening to a TeenGOSH podcast from Great Ormond Street Hospital. For more information about being a teenager at GOSH visit our website – www.gosh.nhs.uk/teenagers