For many children, undergoing physical therapy is not a fun experience. C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is one hospital that has discovered one key to making physical therapy a more enjoyable experience.
When Pokemon Go came out last year, the hospital realized the great opportunity this app provides. The app gets kids moving around and at times socializing with other young patients.
According to J. J. Bouchard, a digital media manager and certified child life specialist at the hospital, one of the best things about the app is that it gets the kids doing therapy exercises that they were previously screaming and crying about doing. For example, he said he can tell a child that the Pokemon is a bit lower, and the child will reach down to get the Pokemon, performing an action the child did not want to do previously. Grasping, raising their arms up, and squatting are some other actions the game encourages children to do.
While the physical and social benefits the game provides are wonderful, perhaps the most important benefit is the peace and security it provides the children in what could otherwise be a scary environment. Bouchard said:
Kids are exploring a place that maybe they were afraid of only five minutes before we introduced the app to them. Now they want to see every nook and cranny in the hospital and learn about it.
Of course, there are other ways to make physical therapy enjoyable for kids as well as adults. No matter the age of the patient, one of the biggest keys to making it a more enjoyable experience for both the patient and the therapist is to make it feel more like a game than work.
Contact us to learn more about how you can make physical therapy more enjoyable for your clients through one of our open positions.
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