Patients at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital Reverse Roles with Caregivers and Become "Doctors for a Day"

Mar 21, 2012, 17:14 ET from St. Joseph's Children's Hospital

TAMPA, Fla., March 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This week, doctors and nurses at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital handed over their white coats and stethoscopes to a group of very special caregivers – hospitalized kids.


Becoming "Doctors for a Day," pediatric patients switched roles with their caregivers and treated pretend illnesses and broken bones. Their patients (hospital team members) were treated on gurneys positioned in the hospital's lobby, which became a waiting room and clinical area for the afternoon. The young doctors even had the opportunity to give "shots" with needle-less syringes.

"We want our patients to feel comfortable while staying at our hospital," says St. Joseph's Children's Hospital Child Life Supervisor Leah Frohnerath. "By allowing patients to play the part of the doctor, they may be less anxious about the procedures that will be performed on them at the hospital."

Each year, Frohnerath and other Child Life Specialists at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital coordinate the "Doctors for a Day" activities to celebrate national Child Life Month. Child Life Specialists use play, education and self-expression to help sick kids adjust to the hospital experience. From interactive story time to psychological preparation for surgery, and from holiday crafts to play with a special medical procedures doll, the Child Life team helps patients view their illnesses and hospital stay as secondary to enjoying the thrills of a normal childhood.

To see photos from the "Doctors for a Day" event, visit St. Joseph's Children's Hospital's Facebook page:  

About St. Joseph's Children's Hospital
As Tampa's first dedicated children's hospital, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital is designed to meet the unique needs of children and their families by providing high-tech pediatric health care in a family-centered, child-friendly environment. Part of the BayCare Health System, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital is the third largest children's hospital in Florida, providing more acute medical and surgical pediatric care than all other hospitals in Hillsborough County.

About BayCare Health System
BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient's lifetime. With more than 200 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at

SOURCE St. Joseph's Children's Hospital