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The toy library, a meeting place for hospitalized children (part 1)


How to cite this article:
González-Ramírez RM. The toy library, a meeting place for hospitalized children (part 1). Rev Enferm Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2017 Jan-Mar;25(1):36.

The toy library, a meeting place for hospitalized children (part 1)

Correspondence: Rosa María González-Ramírez

Email: ludoteca.hospitalaria@gmail.com; rmcardio@yahoo.com.mx

Rosa María González-Ramírez1

1Ludotecaria jubilada del Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social

According to the World Health Organization, quality of life is:

The perception an individual has of their place in existence, in the context of culture and the value system in which they live and in relation to their objectives, expectations, norms, and concerns. It is a very broad concept that is influenced in a complex way by the physical health of the subject, their psychological state, level of independence, social relationships, as well as their relationship with the essential elements of their environment.1

The truth is that the quality of life is not the same for all human beings; each person perceives it according to their life experiences. For this reason, it would be pertinent to talk about pediatric patients hospitalized in different units of the health sector with multiple pathologies involving a hospitalization time that can be a few hours or even months, which implies that their quality of life is affected.

My experience as a teacher and toy librarian was a few years ago in a hospital unit in a work area called the Games Room, without knowing what my role would be with children affected by cardiovascular disease.

As the hospital was new and there were still areas to be equipped, including the Games Room, at first it was not easy to allocate resources, but "its merit was a teacher who wanted very much to start her activity." And without further details, the Games Room already had a large table with six chairs, a table with six chairs for children, and a piñata ready for breaking with a supply of sweets for children.

The beginning was easy and at the same time difficult ... because one could hear the cries of the children brought on by pain, sadness or the feeling of abandonment that invades when their relatives must leave the hospital. I succeeded in overcoming my fears and my sadness by learning much of the pathological involvement and therapeutic procedures to which I was not accustomed, as there was a greater desire to help children in different ways and always maintaining communication with the treating doctors, the nursing staff and, above all, the head of the unit.

After three months, I had readied the first story, "Our Friend, the Catheter," which was created to explain to the children the procedure through drawings and how they could cooperate to feel less discomfort. Just imagine the narration with slides and a portable recorder that reproduced the voice of an announcer who played our little friend the catheter! Such was the therapeutic success that the head of the unit decided that it must be presented in an extra session in the hospital auditorium. It was a great challenge, but with the support of four nurses, we put on a puppet theatre play and a very pleasant sociodramatic play about appropriate and unsuitable treatment behaviors towards pediatric patients before and after the catheterization study. These works were also presented in hospitals of the now-defunct Departamento del Distrito Federal (DDF) and the Instituto Nacional de Cardiología Ignacio Chávez.

  1. The WHOQOL Group. The World Health Organization Quality of life assessment (WHOQOL): position paper from the World Health Organization. Soc Sci Med. 1995 Nov;41(10):1403-9.

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