Hospital Pedagogy: Everything You Need to Know

In the following article, we'll tell you all about hospital pedagogy, including its main characteristics.
Hospital Pedagogy: Everything You Need to Know

Last update: 04 April, 2021

Some children and young people of school age, due to illness, must remain in the hospital for prolonged periods of time. For this reason, hospital pedagogy aims to ensure that they can continue their education and learning and prevent the interruption of their studies.

Hospital pedagogy: A holistic and systemic perspective

Hospital pedagogy is a branch of pedagogy responsible for the socialization of children with illnesses that require prolonged treatment.

It aims to avoid or compensate for the academic delay that children may have due to lack of schooling. At the same time, it also emphasizes the personal care of children, their adaptation to the hospital situation, and prevention.

The professionals in charge of developing hospital pedagogy must act on the basis of an integral and systemic perspective. In other words, in order to achieve an optimal and integral child development, they must cover interrelated aspects such as those we’ll discuss below.

Hospital Pedagogy: Everything You Need to Know

Academics and the learning of school contents

The pedagogues in charge of the children’s education must teach the curricular contents according to their school level, which the educational system establishes. In this way, they should work to prevent them from falling behind in their formative progress.

Thus, once medical professionals determine the child’s admission period, the educators must plan the time and knowledge that they should cover during their stay.

Children’s psychological and emotional needs

Even fairly young hospitalized children must be away from their parents during their stay in the hospital and outside their family and daily nucleus. Therefore, psychological and emotional support is extremely important, for the children, their patients and their families.

So, all the strategies and methodologies that professionals develop are fundamental in this regard. They address their needs for adaptation, anxiety, lack of parental presence, or lack of trust in adults other than their parents.

And, of course, they tend to the mood imbalances that little ones often experience as a result of medical and pharmaceutical treatments.

Given the situation in which children and young people find themselves, recreational and play activities are essential. Therefore, they must have certain times of the day for fun and absolute distraction. This will mentally and psychologically take them away from the difficult situation they’re going through.

Therefore, the pedagogues in charge of their treatment must plan and develop activities for the children to have fun, such as material resources like books and stories, board games, and symbolic games.

At the same time, various physical, manipulative and building toys are essential. Depending on each child’s circumstances, plans should also include walks or playing outdoors.

Hospital Pedagogy: Everything You Need to Know

With many professionals and a lot of love, this is how a “hospital classroom” works

As we’ve said, caring for children of compulsory school age who are hospitalized requires a specialized pedagogical approach – hospital pedagogy. But the performance of professionals in the field of pedagogy can’t bear the responsibility alone. Many other specialists capable of addressing the complex situation that these children are going through must also do their part.

Therefore, hospital pedagogy must be multidisciplinary and bring together the contributions of different professionals. These include nurses, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, physiotherapists and, of course, pedagogues and specialists in education in general.

So, within the hospitals that care for children who are unable to attend school, the so-called “Hospital Classrooms” are organized. These hospital classrooms are school units where various professionals work together to meet all the children’s needs.

These professionals must coordinate the corresponding strategies and tools to make children’s hospital stays as pleasant as possible. They provide highly specialized care, as well as emotional support and affection, both of which are essential for the well-being of children and young people.


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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.