As this year comes to a close we all look back on what we accomplished over the year. For some a college degree, some got married and for others they may have started a new job. Through all of the awful things that occurred this year, we all accomplished something during those hard times. For me, I completed a Child Life Practicum. I was given this opportunity back in October and was so blessed. During those five weeks, I observed the Child Life Specialists as they educated and prepared patients on different procedures (IV starts, blood draws, port access, spinal tap etc.), escorted pet therapy to the patient’s rooms. My favorite was a black Newfoundland dog named Samantha (see picture). This dog was HUGE! She weighed 126 pounds, but she was all fluff and there were tons of dog kisses. *fun fact: I’m not a huge fan of dogs, but with these dogs being therapy dogs, I was completely fine. I facilitated in taking patients around the hospital on Halloween to promote normalcy, engaged with patients and their families.
During one of my many visits to a patient’s room, the patient told me I was his special friend, because I played with him and gave him toys that he enjoyed. When the child was discharged from the hospital, the mom told me that I did an amazing job with him and she really appreciated the time that I spent with them both. That was the highlight of my entire experience at the hospital. Even though I was just a practicum student, I was still helping make a difference in the life of those patients and their families. The new knowledge that I gained will assist me greatly during my child life internship (when that time comes).
So with the new year approaching what do you hope to accomplish? Maybe a down payment on a house, completing college or maybe traveling overseas to another country (I highly recommend Germany).
For me personally, I hope and pray that I complete a child life internship. That is the last step I have to complete my undergraduate degree. After that I will take my exam and be a Certified Child Life Specialist! This accomplishment will put me one step closer to my overall goal with child life—starting a child life department in a children psychiatric hospital (more on that later).
From Peace, Hope and Play I hope you all have a fantastic new year!