First Week Down!

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As most of you know, I began my child life internship on Monday. During this first week, I really learned a lot, and will continue to as the weeks come and go. The first week, I learned about Buzzy (man I needed that as a kid! That would have saved so many tears and screams!), different medical terms and conditions (they always seem to amaze me…not sure if that is in a good way or bad way. Lol), Epic (the hospitals charting system) and much more. I do know one thing for sure, my nerves finally got better and I became more relaxed as the week progresses, I can only improve from here and become a better CLS (Child Life Student) and later on a better Child Life Specialist.

I will say though, one of my favorite opportunities I had this week was to facilitate a scavenger hunt for an 11-year-old patient. She had to get out of bed and walk the unit. I asked her if she wanted to go on a scavenger hunt with me and she got really excited! I told her that if she found all the stickers (18 total) that she could have a prize from the child life closet. Having that is a good incentive the patient went on the scavenger hunt and before she knew she had walked around the unit, the patient found all the stickers. Going to the CL closet, I told her she was great at finding the stickers and that she could beat me at finding them any day. Picking out her prize, she went back to her room to have her lunch that had just arrived.

There is no better way to experience something you are passionate about than to be there and witness it firsthand.

Can’t wait to see where the next 13 weeks take me! Sorry for a short post. Not sure how long they will end up being over the next couple of weeks (I will just be lucky if I get to update regularly! Lol).

 

Until Next Time!

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First Day!

 

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TODAY WAS THE DAY! After a journey that lasted 2 years, I was finally able to begin the final piece to graduation. I STARTED MY CHILD LIFE INTERNSHIP! I am so excited for this journey! Can’t wait to see where it takes me.

Until next time!

P.S. Sorry for the short post.

Lily Pads—One Kids Legacy to Help Hospitalized Children

Being in the hospital is stressful, exhausting, boring and to be honest—scary. Especially if you are a child. No child wants to be hospitalized and spend days looking at four walls.

Maybe the child could go to the playroom, play a game or even go for a while. But what happens if the child is too weak to even take a walk around the unit or visit the playroom?

Nick Konkler had spent his entire life in and out of the hospital. At the age of four he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and then later Leukemia. As he spent time in the hospital, an IV pole was with him every step of the way…

“You are connected to this pole 24/7, so if you have to get up to do anything, the pole goes with you,” Nick’s mom, Christina told Today (source from Today Show).

During one of his visits to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, Nick observed a little girl trying to walk with her pole, but she was too weak to do so. That was when the lightbulb went off.

Nick’s idea was to build a “lily pad” for the IV pole. “lily pads” are a skateboard like object that attaches to the base of the IV pole. This allows patients to get around the hospital easier. They can sit on the board while someone pushes them or the child can walk next to their pole and ride when they become tired.

These boards also add a sense of normally to the child’s life. By having the opportunity to “skate” through the halls of the hospital, and to have their favorite character with them makes the child feel more at ease during their stay.

lily pad pic

 

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However, before Nick could see his idea come to life, he passed away in February of 2015. After his death, many of the students at his high school came together one Saturday to help finish the project Nick thought so much of. These students helped build Nick’s legacy to the many children of Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.

Eventually the “lily pads” were complete and delivered to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital; where children welcomed their new ride with laughter and smiles. Now children could ride in style down the hallways of the hospital.

Happy Child Life Month! Until next time!

March is Child Life Month…. How Child Life Students Can Take Part!

 

 

Child Life Month pic.

Only 500!? Try more along the lines of 800 maybe more!

 

Each month it seems like there is always some sort of awareness. American Heart Month, Mental Health Month, breast cancer awareness month and so many others! The list is never ending. You name it and there is probably a day, week or month dedicated to it (literally, I have even seen something for national bubble week…this goes with CLM, but still…weird).

With that said, there is a month dedicated to the amazing field known as Child Life!  Child Life Specialist dedicate their careers to helping children understand their medical conditions, medical procedures, and they provide age appropriate actives, use words that children can comprehend and makes sure children are able to cope effectively during their hospital stay. A Child Life Specialist notices the smallest of things and makes it their top priority.

Last year, I talked about Child Life Month and how the healthcare team (and even the CL team) could partake in this month-long event! (URL: https://peacehopeandplaysite.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/happy-child-life-month/

This month I will be talking about Child Life Month from a student’s point of view. As most of you know, I will be starting my child life internship in April (32 days!) so therefore, I won’t be taking part in Child Life month at my hospital, but I can still take part as a student.

How can a student do that you may be asking…

  1. Repost any article, picture or video talking about child life month (or even child life in general). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUdYi9QZQxg (my favorite CLM video!)
  1. Volunteer with children (it can be sick, healthy or special needs). i.e. local children’s hospital, Make A Wish, subbing at a school or spending time at a special needs camp.
  1. Make a video on why child life is important. Also, put in the video why child life is important to YOU. Did you have a hospital experience as a child? Did your sibling have a hospital experience? What? We all have a child life story. Tell yours.
  1. Write a blog post on Child Life month or why child life is important. Like the video, but you can use a lot of cute pictures!
  1. Attend an event geared towards children (i.e. teddy bear clinic). *I have always wanted to take part in this type of activity.

 

  1. Celebrate with other students. This can be at your school or even through facebook (it is amazing what technology can do).

If you are a Child Life Student know that no matter where you are in your journey, you can still take part in this amazing month celebrating our (future) profession, and make an amazing impact on a child’s life.

Happy Child Life Month everyone! Until Next time!

 

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BSUDM—For the Kids! (11 Years of Hope)

DM

Hi everyone! Sorry I haven’t updated in a while. To be honest, I couldn’t think of a blog post for January so therefore, I will be talking about an organization that is near and dear to my heart for Feb.

As a Child Life Student, I know the time, effort and energy that it takes to make the hospital stay as normal as possible for a child and their family. Planning events for the hospital (i.e. holiday parties, sports teams and popular characters visiting), collecting toys for the patients and other supplies that are needed.

How do child life departments receive money? How do playrooms get funded? How do healthcare professionals and others within the community raise money for a large project? This is done by countless donations and fundraisers.

At Ball State University where I attend college we have what is called: Dance Marathon! Now I am sure you have heard about this movement, but just in case you haven’t sit back and enjoy this video…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywzTOwt-b1o

Throughout the country Dance Marathons are at large. They raise money for their local children’s hospitals and stand on their feet for hours! Colleges and high schools alike take part in this amazing event.

DM started back in 1991 at Indiana State University. A student founded dance marathon in the memory of Ryan White, a fellow student who passed away from HIV/AIDS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bcmsr_eIEJM

Since 1991 countless students have come together from all over the nation to take part in this event. Last year alone, Miracle Network Dance Marathons raised more than $26 million. $26 million dollars! Each school raises money for something different for a certain hospital….

At Ball State, we help raise money for the Magic Castle Cart and Palliative Care for Riley Hospital for Children.

The Magic Castle Cart

Bob Baxter, former president of Riley Children’s Foundation (1991-1996), started the Magic Castle Cart program over 14 years ago as a way administer Smile Therapy to Riley patients and remain connected to the hospital. Volunteers distribute gifts including puzzles, stuffed animals, funny glasses, crayons and coloring books, lip gloss, playing cards and other treats for the children. The Magic Castle Cart program has around 12 volunteers who distribute more than 20,000 gifts to patients, siblings and parents annually. Approximately $30,000 is required annually to maintain the fleet of two carts, one specifically tailored to Ball State University.

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Palliative Care

Pediatric Palliative care is specialized medical care for children with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the child and the family.

…..

In the summer of 2016 a playroom on the stem cell unit at Riley Hospital for Children was dedicated to Ball State University Dance Marathon. The marathon just months prior had raised enough money to have a room named in the school’s honor.

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On Feb. 17, 2018 Ball State University will celebrate its 11th year of standing on their feet for 12 hours. 11 years of spreading hope, joy and happiness. 11 years of being a part of an amazing movement. 11 years of stories shared by those who received amazing care and support from Riley Hospital for Children. On Feb. 17 Ball State University will celebrate 11 years of supporting the kids! FTK! (For the Kids!)

If you would like to donate to Ball State Dance Marathon please see the link below. Thank you for your support and remember FTK!

https://secure2.convio.net/rcf/site/Donation2?idb=0&df_id=7809&FR_ID=3455&PROXY_ID=8361&PROXY_TYPE=22&7809.donation=form1 

Until Next Time!