Tag Archives: child life

Child Life Month: Surprise Feature via The Starlight Foundation!

18 Mar

In honor of “Child Life Month,” The Starlight Foundation, which supports Child Life Specialists as they develop holistic programing and positive coping modalities for children and families under stress during pediatric hospitalizations has chosen to feature and acknowledge respective therapists from across the country. Click here for my feature! Thank you so much Starlight Foundation NYC! … Your unwavering support of happy, healthy children is amazing!

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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!

Child Life, the Robin to a Doctor’s Batman

14 Jul

photo copy 2Last week, I had a really cute conversation with a 9 year old male patient during my morning assessment rounds. He had been admitted for a few days, but feeling quite well. As you can imagine, he was very bored. It was during my morning check-in with him that a really fun, “lightbulb moment” happened. The following is a synopsis of our conversation:

Child – “So what is a Child Life Specialist (my job) anyways…”

Me –  “Well, we’re kind of like the right hand helpers to doctors.”

Child – “Sooooo,”   *thinks*   you’re kinda like their side-kick?

 Me – “In a way, yeah. If the doctor comes to check-in on you & they realize they might need to do something scary, like give you a new medicine, use machines to check how your body is feeling, or use needles … they might ask me to come in 1st to help you get ready so it’s not as scary anymore.

 Child – *thinks some more* … “Soooo, you’re like the Robin to the doctor’s Batman then?” .. *smiles brightly*

Me – “Exactly” *returns smile*

When working with school-age children, especially in the medical setting, it’s important to keep your language simple and concrete. For this child, Batman and Robin were a familiar team working together to keep the inhabitants of Gotham City safe from those who meant to hurt or cause pain. After taking a few seconds to reflect, I saw his line of thinking. As a Child Life Specialist, we are charged to advocate and even protect children from as many of the stressors related to the medical environment as possible. We work alongside other medical clinicians, trying our best to keep fear provoking experiences at bay. In the end, the correlation between the interrelated roles of both superheroes and medical staff made sense to this child and ultimately, it helped to transform what could have been a somewhat difficult explanation into a simple and very cool conversation. Salute to me fellow Child Life Specialists, superheroes changing the lives of children one interaction at a time!
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Monday Morning Surprises: My Hospital-wide Child Life Feature

1 Apr

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Evening everyone!

Quick update. So I come into work today after a long Easter weekend with a typical case of “the Mondays.”  I finally make my way to my office and begin to check emails when I discover the media department for my hospital has featured me in their staff recognition project! .. *gasps!!*  .. A hospital-wide email had gone out featuring both my work and growing Child Life program .. How awesome is that? .. Working with children and families to close ongoing health disparities within urban communities remains my ultimate goal. The use of  holistic health interventions remains my passion. It really feels great to be recognized for what you do.

Yay for surprises … especially on a monday! I’m so appreciative!

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Happy Child Life Month!

24 Mar

Happy Child Life Month!

Celebrating my fellow Child Life Specialists for all of the fun, unique, creative, therapeutic, educational work we do with children and families in sometimes scary medical settings.

Keep up the awesome work! I’m proud of all of you : ]) For more information about the profession Child Life, feel free to click on the Child Life card in this celebration post or “The profession” tab at the top of this blog page.

~ Angela B.

“From Bankstreet with Love”

15 Nov

I just came back from my graduate school alma mater, Bankstreet College of Education. The event held last night served as one-part reunion and one-part celebration as we honored the anniversary of our school’s Child Life Department. Since its inception 10 years ago, the Child Life Program at Bankstreet College of Education has grown into a thriving, unique setting for those eager to incorporate their prior knowledge of child / human development theory into the medical setting. As a profession that originated from the “play ladies” of early orphanages and children wards in 1920’s hospitals, the field of Child Life is ever expanding and continues to re-shape itself. Each year, the graduating cohorts of today at Bankstreet are well-trained clinicians who enter the workforce ready, willing, and fully committed to nurturing the healthy development of populations in a family-centered, individualized way.

As I walked around the room during the celebration, so many of my peers were involved in such great work serving families around the greater New York Area; it was inspiring. In the end, we laughed, we reminisced, we hugged, we even cried some. All in all, it was a great night to come together and celebrate the unique kinship that comes with being a Bankstreet graduate. Like the Olive Garden commercial says ” Once your here, you’re family.” Salute to my Bankstreet Child Life family : ]).

For more information regarding Bankstreet’s Child Life program, please select the following link: http://ow.ly/1Ao6fh

*Official logo of Bankstreet College of Education