WOW! I thought I was busy during my internship – I have not stopped since I started working! Anyways, I wanted to give you guys a little update on starting as a child life specialist in the ER:
I am the only specialist in our ER and we have about 19 rooms plus a rapid care area – I do very little sitting! It was a little scary and overwhelming at first because although I spent time in an ER during my internship, it was only for two weeks… four months ago. Thankfully, I had great support from CLS’s on other units of the hospital and especially from a CLS at one of our “sister hospitals” who also works in the ER. I was very lucky to have been able to train for a few weeks with the her! I was able to refresh my memory on child life interventions in the ER as well as learn how to provide support during high-stress situations such as a traumas/codes. During my time with her, I really got my interventions down for common things such as IV’s, sutures, conscious sedations, and x-ray’s and CT scans and got advice on how to handle not so common situations. Just what I needed to go off & be on my own!
I expected that starting at my hospital was going to be another scary and overwhelming moment. Now, I was really on my own! On my own to meet my fellow coworkers and know who’s who, to prioritize my patients without discussing with a supervisor my reasoning behind it, to develop interventions, and everything else that I’ve ever relied on my supervisors for. But, to my surprise, everything just came so naturally and I knew what to do! Thanks to my experiences during volunteering, my practicum, my internship, and my orientation, I wasn’t overwhelmed or scared – if anything I was more ready than ever. During my first two weeks, I prepped patients for appendectomies, conscious sedations, sutures, IV’s, you name it – and the best part of it all is that I felt confident doing it all! I remember during my internship thinking ” I can’t believe I’m going to be prepping patient’s all on my own one day for an appendectomy!” – it’s so incredible how much you truly learn through experience.
There are still times where I reach out to my fellow CLS’s to ask for advice and I know I still have a lot to learn but, as a first time CLS taking on a fast paced & larger unit, I’d day I’m doing a really amazing job. It’s been about two months now that I’ve been working as a child life specialist and I am really loving every second of it. Whenever I’m asked how my new job is going I always reply, with a big smile “Great! I love my job!”
I’m very happy to be a child life specialist! It really is the best job ever!