MIA–Missing in Action…

Hi everyone! Sorry I have not updated my blog in a month. Life has been busy, but to be honest, I haven’t had much to say. I’ve been working and applying for jobs. Which hasn’t been easy. If anything applying for jobs have been very frustrating, draining and full of uncertainty. If I do not update for a while please know that I haven’t forgotten about my blog or my followers. I hope to have something fun or unique the next time I post. Until next time!

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I Spy with My Little Eye…

I spy picture

As we approach the middle of child life month there are still many things that CL teams could do to promote child life awareness. For instance, a team could decorate bulletin boards in various themes to draw eyes to their department. Make them colorful, interactive, inviting, but above all child friendly.

I spyThroughout my child life journey, I have seen different boards showcasing child life. (This was not just for child life month, but for the entire year). For example, when I was doing my oncology/hematology rotation at my practicum there were shadowboxes that encased various items. *There were three total. A red box, blue box and a yellow box. Each box help items that allowed people to play I spy. This was a great interactive piece for not just the patients and their families, but also for the healthcare team to build a rapport with the patients in which they served.

Another idea that could be done is a Minion Reasons to Love Child Life. Decorate the board in minions and then put reason why child life is loved.  It can be eye catching and comical (get the saying on the board?) board for CL month or even during any time of the year.

Minion reasons to love child life

Another idea could be creating a board and displaying each of the specialist that reside at the hospital. Give little facts about them i.e. what unit they support, favorite distraction toy, favorite color and why they love child life. Again, this isn’t anything big, but it doesn’t have to be.

Whether you are a one-person program, a three-person program or a thirty-person program. There is always a way that child life month can be celebrated. Until next time!

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How Students Can Take Part in CL Month…

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Once being a student, I felt as though it was hard taking part in CL meetings and even child life month. Conferences are expensive and not to mention so is the hotel, food and airfair. Being a broke college student, students feel as though they can’t take part in anything during this month or even for meetings. However, that is not true.

If you can’t spend the money for a conference, first, don’t beat yourself up over this. I have never been to a conference due to the price. This however does not make you any less a child life student or child life professional. You can still celebrate child life month in various ways. Use your imagination and get creative.

ImaginationHere are a couple of ways students (or even those looking to just help during CL month) could take part.

– School CL club(s): Help plan something with your child life club.

  • Start a toy drive for child life month for a local children’s hospital or pediatric unit
  • Go to Build-A-Bear and make stuffed animals and donate them to a local hospital (a lot of girl scout groups did this while at my internship)
  • Volunteer at a local hospital that has a pediatric unit (even if they don’t have CL) *Hospitals could ALWAYS use volunteers
  • Create something fun and wacky i.e. a child life banner and hang it some place for everyone to see.
  • Have a bake sale and donate the money to a hospital or buy toys.
  • Book drive!
  • Volunteer your time by making blankets (make sure hospitals will take these before making 30 some blankets).
  • Donate child friendly movies that you or your children, grandchildren no longer watch. **Make sure the right movie is in the DVD sleeve before donating it!

Wherever you are within your child life journey know that you can ALWAYS do something for child life month and the patients and their families. Nothing is never to small.

 

Until Next Time!

Child Life Month: Getting Healthcare Professionals Involved…

getting health care professionals involovedAs the child life profession knows March is Child Life Month! While child life specialist, child life assistance and students alike are excited for this month other healthcare professionals not so much. While March is CL month this can be a time to get other healthcare, professionals involved and on the child life train. Below you will find various activities or treats that can be distributed to the disciplinary team…Glitter wands

  • Free goodies! Who doesn’t like free goodies? Put together a little bag that consist of:
  • Bubbles (like the wedding favor kind)
  • Stickers
  • Stress ball
  • Small glitter wand (like the keychain ones)

These items could help the nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals to build a rapport with the patient and just in case child life isn’t available (you are needed in various areas. You can’t be everywhere at once) the professionals have something that can calm a child.

  • Meeting/orientation on child life. Other than people coming up to and saying, “Child life specialist what do they do?” and going through your speech one could plan a meeting or some type of in service. During this time not only do you tell them about all the stuff that you do (along with your education), but you can set up different stations i.e. medical play, medical craft or a role-playing game. These stations and information session could help spread the word of child life.

Medical PlayDuring my internship, I constructed and led several educational sessions for student nurses about child life. I educated them about the field, education requirements, the history and about CL at the hospital. During these sessions, I constructed an ice breaker, medical play and a role-playing game. The role-playing game allowed the students to put themselves in the patient’s shoes. I had a container that was covered up and told the student to put their hand in the container. Mind you I wasn’t very nice. Lol. I was mean and got angry with the nurse. Meanwhile the nurse is scared (which they are supposed to be) and they slowly put their hand in. During this time, I ask them what they feel, and they tell me. This shows the students what the patient (this could even be an adult not just a kid) what they are feeling and how scared and anxious they are.

Having healthcare professionals put themselves into their patients shoes I believe helps them empathize with their patients.

  • FOOD! Having food at any type of event, meeting or in a breakroom can win over rainbow doughnuteven the toughest employee. During this child life month bring in doughnuts, candy or maybe even ice cream! Something that people can really sink their sweet tooth into.

 

Child Life Month everyone can be involved. While this month is about the CLS within the facilities around the world we can all band together and share the love, because we all have one common goal (no matter what position we have within the healthcare field) and that is to help the child and family.