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Staff Spotlight: Play Therapist Chelsea providing comfort throughout treatment

HF3 chelsea feature
Healthy Focus
Posted 12 Oct. 2022

Play Therapist Chelsea brings a unique skill set and nurturing demeanour to the Michael Rice Centre for Haematology and Oncology – showing us there is so much more than clinical care when it comes to children’s cancer treatment.

Play Therapist Chelsea brings a unique skill set and nurturing demeanour to the Michael Rice Centre for Haematology and Oncology – showing us there is so much more than clinical care when it comes to children’s cancer treatment.

Chelsea is a qualified health professional with a post graduate certificate in Play Therapy – an integral role when it comes to alleviating stresses associated with trauma and treatment and making hospital more comfortable for patients. Throughout her 16 years at the Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN), she has become much loved by both families and staff.

To acknowledge Childhood Cancer Awareness Month recently, we asked Chelsea about her role and career highlights so far.

“A lot of people in the community are aware of childhood cancer but aren’t familiar with what’s involved after a child is diagnosed. It’s important to understand the physical, psychological and emotional journey that our patients and their families undertake,” she said.

This understanding allows Chelsea to uniquely tailor her support plans for children receiving treatment, while focusing on the best ways to alleviate anxieties it may bring or help them open up about how they are feeling, with the main goal of providing a space that makes the next visit a little easier.

Given the wide range of patient ages and unique circumstances on each ward, a play therapist’s support needs to be diverse - ranging from providing patients with games, toys, or arts and crafts, to distraction therapies for tricky clinical procedures, or merely sitting down and being a listening ear.

HF3 chelsea and PT team

– Chelsea (front right) enjoying Book Week dress-ups with the Play Therapy team

“Each day is different and based on individual patient needs. I love seeing children run into the clinic to see what I have set up for them that day and planning what they would like for their next visit. I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to build these relationships with our patients and families.” said Chelsea.

In addition to her patient advocacy, Chelsea has also been of immense value in the clinical space.

“A big career highlight was helping set up a radiotherapy project, which has been running for many years now. I support patients before and during their radiotherapy treatment to lower the need for general anaesthetics to be used,” she says.

“It’s a very unique and rewarding job.”

Thank you, Chelsea, for the work that you do at the Women’s and Children’s Health Network, and to the WCH Foundation who support our Play Therapy Team.

View our recent Facebook post to see all the lovely comments from our families for Chelsea.

To learn more about Play Therapy at WCHN, visit the Play Therapy web page on the WCH Foundation site.

For more information about the Michael Rice Centre for Haematology and Oncology, go to our web page: