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Play Specialist

Play Specialist – Children’s Unit

Southland Hospital


  • Are you a qualified Early Childhood Education teacher?
  • Do you have a background in child development and a creative streak?
  • Casual hours on an ‘as & when’ basis to enable for your work-life balance


Are you looking for a new challenge in a unique environment?  Southern District Health Board has an exciting opportunity for you to make a difference to the lives of children & young people in the Hospital environment.  We are seeking an enthusiastic, registered and experienced early childhood teacher to join us as a Play Specialist at Southland Hospital on a casual basis.


About the Service

Our Paediatric Service at Southern DHB is committed to maintaining a child’s learning and development while enhancing their ability to cope with illness, hospitalisation and treatments. We work with children from birth to 16 years, using play as a tool to normalise their experience and minimise the psychological impact on the child while in hospital.


About the Role

As a hospital play specialist, you will support infants, children and young people to become confident and competent learners within the context of their hospital experience. With a strong educational and psycho-social framework that supports whānau involvement, you will facilitate children’s continued development and their ability to cope successfully with challenges related to their hospital visit.

You will help normalise the hospital visit in a play space; familiarising children with medical equipment or procedures; supporting children during procedures, including blood tests; or developing and practising coping strategies. This role is challenging but very rewarding when working with children, their whānau and our wider multi-disciplinary team.

Reporting to the Charge Nurse Manager, you will be comfortable working sole charge to plan, assess and develop person centred plans of care and education, following up with implementation and evaluation. You will use contemporary research and evidence based practice to ensure safe, high quality interventions.


About You

It’s really important that you can work with young and older children and are able to engage and work closely with parents/family/whanau. You will not be phased by the hospital environment, and can thrive working in a wider multidisciplinary team. You believe in the importance of play and its positive effects on the well-being of children. To succeed in this role you will also need to have:


  • Registration as an EC teacher with a current practicing certificate
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to build rapport quickly with those around you
  • Experience of working with young people and families from diverse ethnic backgrounds


If you’re passionate about advocating for the importance of play during challenging times in children’s lives, apply today!


View position description 


Closing Date: Sunday 09 January 2022

Due to the fast paced nature of the DHB, our vacancy close dates may be subject to change. Don’t delay, make sure you apply as soon as possible.


Do you currently work for Southern DHB? If so, please apply for this role via our internal careers site, found here:  Pulse > Applications > Corporate > SuccessFactors

For further information please contact Milair Ryalls, Recruitment Advisor, (03) 470 9268, Milair.ryalls@southerndhb.govt.nz


Pre-Employment checks

In the interests of protecting our people and our patients, all appointments will be subject to:

  • Occupational Health Assessment
  • Police Vetting / Ministry of Justice safety checks
  • Serious misconduct checks (previous Public Service departments and statutory Crown entities only)
  • Following the update to COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021, to be employed with Southern DHB you will be required to be fully vaccinated as a health care worker.  If you have already been fully vaccinated you will need to provide proof of this to Occupational Health staff.  If you are not yet fully vaccinated you must make arrangements to undertake your first vaccination no later than the 15 November 2021 and be fully vaccinated, as required by the Order, by 1 January 2022.   

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