Archive | August, 2013

You’re Not Alone; Sisters Fighting Breast Cancer Together

26 Aug

A beautiful story of one sister’s love and dedication as she supports her sister through an unexpected cancer diagnosis

Child Life Mommy

This is a story about one woman’s courage to help fight her sister’s breast cancer.

As a fellow child life alum at Bank Street, Kim is using the skills that she has learned to help support her sister, find ways to cope and navigate on the devastating news of the diagnosis.

I encourage the readers to share her story, learn coping strategies and try to stay optimistic when faced with difficulties in your life.

Here is Kim’s story:

bcc675ec-441b-4fda-bfc1-236ecd4acadeI decided to become a child life specialist after volunteering on the pediatric floor of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. I loved helping families through one of the hardest moments in their life. It was immensely gratifying to be let into a child’s world and to be part of the healing process. My thought was that I cannot change their medical outcome but I can make someone’s day better.

As a volunteer…

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The Golden Hour.

14 Aug

Spirit of Giving

Jennifer Jollymore is a registered nurse in the Birthing Unit at the IWK Health Centre – a leading centre of excellence that provides quality care to women, children, youth and families in the Maritime provinces and beyond. 

I’m sometimes amazed at how much change I’ve witnessed with regards to skin-to-skin contact (SSC) in the four short years since I graduated nursing school and began my career at the IWK Health Centre as a Birth Unit nurse. Not that long ago, it was still common practice for babies to be delivered and immediately transferred to the resuscitation area, whether they were at risk of needing resuscitation or not. The baby would be dried and then swaddled with blankets before being brought back to the parents for cuddles.

Sometimes, any number of interventions could take place between delivery and cuddles with mom and dad. Weighing, measuring, eye ointment, vitamin K injection, newborn head-to-toe…

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Friday Fun: Cookie Monster explains “Alive”

9 Aug

From the Sesame Street Archives: Cookie Monster teaches science : ])

A Little Playfullness

For your Friday Fun this week, take a trip down memory lane to good old-fashioned Sesame Street. I was browsing and found the funny video of Cookie Monster explaining what “alive” means. An added bonus? It’s a jumping off point for explaining about life and death!

▶ Sesame Street – Cookie Monster on what’s alive – YouTube.

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“Jerry the Bear” – Fun Teaching Tool for Kids with Type 1 Diabetes

4 Aug

As a Certified Child Life Specialist, teaching children about bodily functions and diagnosis are key to normalizing their health experience and increasing compliance. In the medical world, “compliance” is a term used to describe the level to which a patient is following through with the recommended form of medical treatment. For any child, incorporating a new routine can be difficult … tie in a new routine with the need to take potentially life saving medication in a timely manner and you can imagine how daunting the prospect can become.

Below is a fun new teaching tool I recently discovered by the name of “Jerry the Bear.” This bear is especially tailored to help address the questions and concerns both families and little ones living with Juvenile Diabetes may have. I love that this teaching bear was created by young people, for young children … giving them a cuddly health-conscious friend to serve as a guide through the early stages of diagnosis.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

July Intern

4 Aug

A compassionate “day in the life” perspective through the eyes of a medical intern.


On the 31st day of residency –  I think that was yesterday, although I can’t be sure, days morph into nights that morph into an artistic blur akin to a Jackson Pollock canvas. But I digress.  July 31, the last day of the first month of residency.  The last day of being a July Intern.

I was working in the emergency room.  Dental traumas, angry tonsils, bad falls, abscesses, new onset of diabetes.  And then her.  I met her in one of the smaller room off to the side.  She greeted me with a broad smile and that simple carefree attitude the wee ones carry so effortlessly.  She had had some pain and found to have old fractures on imaging studies.  Some lab work at her primary care physician’s office was abnormal.  I was the first doctor to see her and her family.  I listened to the story, asked…

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