How does knowledge of play and language development for babies and children influence the future practice of a health professional?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Being a well-rounded professional entails having knowledge about more aspects of human development, even of those aspects that are not necessarily aligned to one's field of study.

A health professional such as a physician, a nurse, or any other hospital employee who directly oversees the care of patients will be able to earn their trust and understand their needs when they (the health care professional) is tuned in to the developmental stage of the patient. Moreover, understanding how the patient communicates may lead the health care professional to better understand what the patient is really conveying when they express their physical status.

Also, through learning some of the ways in which children express themselves, a health care professional can also use children's expressions to mirror their talk and take away any fears that come with "going to the doctor" as it happens with children who experience anxiety and the so-called "white coat syndrome".

There is a lot that can be learned from children just by the way that they talk and play: children often transfer situations at home during playtime, imitate those whom they both love and fear, and sometimes they even share openly their problems as they relax during playtime. This is why having the knowledge of how to acquire this information through play is yet another great benefit that future health care professionals will have to extract exact information that is needed when helping children that are being neglected or abused.

Alfred Adler, one of the leading figures in the field of psychology as it applies to individuals, is the go-to theorist to study when it comes to play therapy and how it applies to the behavior of children.

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