Medical Play


Young children spend much of their day engaged in play. Role playing along with representational and dramatic play are the tools that provide children with a safe means for exploration, self-expression, and imaginative pursuits. Future homemakers and chefs may flourish in the midst of pots, pans, dolls, and grown-up clothes, while future city planners, farmers, air traffic controllers, and race car drivers may thrive amidst toy cars, trucks, tractors, and airplanes.

Often young hospitalized children want to play doctor.  The Hospital Education Program (HEP) believes that playing doctor - medical play - offers youngsters a supervised playtime during which they can process their thoughts and master their fears about illness, injury, the hospital environment, and medical treatments. 

A University of Virginia Children's Hospital Medic Kit is offered to children at the conclusion of medical play sessions.  The kit is filled with disposable and safe medical supplies, allowing children to continue their medical play at home or in the hospital.

Medical play at the University of Virginia Children's Hospital is available for both inpatients and outpatients and siblings from ages 2 through 7 years on the 7th floor of University Hospital, the Primary Care Center, and at the Kluge Children's Rehabilitation Center (KCRC). 

All HEP services are free to children and their families.  For additional information, please call (434) 924-2658.