Dolls can not only entertain, but also can be used in treatment. It's already interesting when doctor comes in with a doll. But when he explains all the medical manipulations using the doll, the child feels much more secure.
Manikin dolls have been helping clinical psychologists in Dmitriy Rogachev Federal Center for Onco-Hematology (FNKC) for several months. Head of Department of clinical psychology FNKC Alina Khain explains why they are helpful and how children interact with such assistants.
"My colleagues and I (clinical psychologists) have always used games and toys to help young patients of our clinic to cope with psychological difficulties of the treatment. Our opportunities increased significantly in the past few months thanks to the help of Podari.Life: we received a medical doll Manikin. We are happy to share our first impressions with you. We are still looking at them as at "first" impressions because the possibilities this doll opens seem countless.
First of all, everyone who meets a doctor carrying a very large doll, smiles. One of the most important things a game should provide (and a medical game especially) - positive emotions. Children find themselves in an unusual and frightening situation шт a hospital - everything that was comfortingis now inaccessible. Their home, toys and their usual routine, all the people the love stay at home that is far away now. The parent that arrives in a hospital with a child, is often not in a good emotional state as well and sometimes the emotional state doesn’t let them even play with a child. So when a doctor comes in with a doll - it a very pleasant surprise, and it helps start communication even with the most shy, scared and "closed" children.
The Manikin doll is unusual tool, especially of its size (its size is the one of a one year old child), it attracts attention and children want to touch it. If you look at it closer - it has no hair, and you will see a "tail" of the catheter looking out from under its clothes. This is not only to explain a variety of medical procedures and manipulations to a child: setting the catheter, as well as other puncture operation for example. It is also very useful to make it easier for a child to identify with the doll, to share his worries with its help. It is so much easier toexpress their attitude to the disease, treatment, and all their emotions while playing. This doll can change its face expressions, it can "feel" and thus let our patients share their feelings without fear.
It is very often that the child chooses the role of a parent or a doctor while playing. They feel safe that way. They can play the role of an "expert" and thus regain the so much missed sense of initiative and active position in communication with an adult. When we let the child choose how to play, we help them to restore a sense of control, which is seriously undermined by the disease. The game also provides a convenient language for communication and mutual understanding.
As I already mentioned, Manikin doll is also our assistant in increasing the child's awareness, preparing him to the difficult moments in his treatment. Every child of every age needs to understand specifically what went wrong with his body as well as what is going to happen. Sometimes the game lets us understand what causes the child’s fear.
While playing kids sometimes asked questions about treatment that they never asked us directly. For example, questions about the reason for their disease. There are also cases when we know that the fear is caused by the forthcoming new type of treatment. So we use Manikin doll to prepare the child psychologically. Just like our foreign colleagues we "study" the procedure with the help of the doll, we try different roles on, make it completely understandable, familiar, "our own". We find the most disturbing elements and in a game we walk through all the ways of psychological support with a child, his parent and the doll. "
Dear friends, this miracle assistant-doll appeared at the FNKC thanks to all of you. And we are very happy that it is now much easier for children to talk about their disease, and therefore to overcome the fears associated with it.
This not only makes the work of the doctors easier, but also makes the hardest period in life of the entire patient's family much more comfortable.