X-Ray prep

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Being that I work in the emergency room I am constantly prepping little ones to go get an X-Ray done. Luckily, my amazing co-worker, Caroline, shared one of her X-Ray prepping techniques with me!

The book Cooper Gets An X-Ray is great because it shows colorful, child friendly pictures of what an X-Ray machine looks like, explains that the machine can be moved around, shows examples of the “heavy vests” one might wear, sounds you may hear, and it also shows that a light may shine on them when taking the picture.

I also use that little camera to explain to my concrete-thinkers that if we were to take a picture of them with that camera we would only be able to see the outside of their bodies – to be able to see the inside, we need to use the X-Ray camera.

Cooper Gets an X-Ray by Karen Olson http://www.amazon.com/dp/0939838850/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_XeCmtb1EGE4GF

Favorite find of the month!

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I’m so excited that I found this awesome 2-in-1 bubble wand with spinning light on top! This works great for distraction – especially with toddlers/preschool kiddies whose attention span isn’t always the longest. I bought this little gem at Walgreens in the Spring/seasonal isle for $3.99. Happy bubble blowin’ & light spinnin’ fellow child life-ers!

I love Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital!

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Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Spreads Cheer With Pharrell Williams’ Hit “Happy” « CBS Miami.

So proud to see these Child Life Specialists that taught me everything I know on the news! Click the link above to see the amazing work the Child Life team is doing at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Florida.  I’ll always have a soft spot for the hospital where I did my internship. Happy Child Life month!

Don’t forget the teens

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During my practicum I always struggled when interacting with teens. Being that I was 21 years old when I was doing my practicum, it seemed awkward for me to provide child life services to someone who was so close in age. During my internship I went out of my comfort zone and really made an effort to connect with my adolescent population. Thus began my new found love for providing child life services to teens (as much as I would for any other age.) Now that I’m working as a child life specialist, I’m always looking for ways to keep our teen population included when it comes to giveaways/things to do while in the ER because while yes, teens do love being on their phones, phones run out of battery and there is only so many times you can refresh your twitter newsfeed before you go crazy. Here’s a list of what I have (so far):

  • A variety of “teen movies” for them to choose from to watch in their rooms
  • Age appropriate board games (apples to apples, connect 4, uno, regular cards, etc)
  • An x-box on wheels with age appropriate games (need for speed, nba 2k13, etc)
  • And, my latest option to hand out: Mandala art!

Mandala art is supposed to be therapeutic to color if you’re coloring from the inside out {https://spiritualityhealth.com/articles/mandala-art-drawing-your-way-wholeness} . I hand out a few sheets and some coloring pencils to my teens who are interested and it’s been a hit! I’m so glad that I’m able to provide my teen population with things that they enjoy & are age appropriate.

Syringe painting

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One of my favorite activities to do with my patients is syringe painting. I haven’t had much of a chance to do it in a while and last week I finally got the opportunity! I was supporting a very spunky & brave 7-year-old during her IV start which took a long time because her veins were “very sleepy” and “not popping out”. She began to ask questions about everything the nurse was using and different medical equipment in the room. I was able to pull out some medical supplies she could manipulate and become familiar with, including syringes. When I showed it to her she seemed confused, asking where the needle was. After I explained to her that the needle is placed if needed, I realized “this is a great patient to do syringe painting with!”
Once her IV was placed, I went and brought back some paint in medicine cups, construction paper, a syringe (of course), and some q-tips to spread the paint around the paper. She had a blast painting with medical supplies!