Worth it: 001

  Often times when people learn about what I do I get sympathetic responses and gasps with comments like “that is so sad”, “I could never do that”, “how are you able to emotionally handle such a sad job”. And while yes, sometimes situations can be VERY sad, there are always more good days that bad days! Just to prove that, I’ve decided to share some stories of the good days that make it all worth it! 

IMG_6241             Earlier this week, I was helping a 7 year old girl with an IV start (I work in the ER) which she’s had many times before so she immediately started crying and screaming when the doctor told her she was going to need one. I heard the commotion from the nurses station so I quickly grabbed my “bag of tricks” and went right into her room. We talked for a little bit while the nurse was setting up; about school, things she likes to do for fun, favorite foods, her family, and Halloween plans. Once I noticed that she had become more comfortable, I brought up the IV. We came up with a plan all based on her choices of how she would like things to happen…

  • She and I would play on the iPad while they did it
  • The iPad would block the view because she did not want to see
  • The nurse would first look on her left arm rather than her right arm
  • The nurse would count to three and poke AFTER three
  • She would follow the 1 rule which is: do not move your arm.

          The time came for the IV start and she did AMAZING! She did so great that mom started crying saying that in 7 years, this was the first time that she hasn’t had to be held down while she kicked and screamed. Not only was everyone in the room extremely proud of her, she was SO proud of herself! You could see it in her face how HAPPY she was that she didn’t need to have help to hold still. The mother thanked me for everything I had done but really, it was all her daughter! By giving her choices when she felt there weren’t any, she regained control over the situation and chose what she felt would be best for her. 

2 responses to “Worth it: 001”

  1. Way to go…and the fact that you know it really was the little girl who make it go smoothly is very valiant on your part. Wihout your respectful attititude towards children…this whole thing would not have been possible. Thanks for your example…I am very impressed.

  2. Yay! Thank you for sharing your wonderful child life success story. It never seizes to amaze me how far compassion, understanding and distraction can go 🙂 I had a similar experience today with a 6-year-old was to say the least not happy about getting his Flu Shot. I received a call and grabbed my IPAD, bubbles, Glitter Stick and a rubber ball. I jumped into the room happily and introduced myself. I asked him simple questions and talked to him a little bit to make him feel comfortable. (just like you!) After a while, I explained what was going to happen and how important it was to receive the flu shot. Grandma and Grandpa were present and provided a lot of affection and support. This little boy had 2 rules – the first one he created and the second one I suggested. His first rule was to be BRAVE and the second rule was to “stay still” We talked about what it meant to be brave and we practiced “freezing” & “staying still”

    Although we had time to prepare, the little guy got scared when he looked at the needle. I reassure him that it would be quick and that if he needed to cry it would be okay. As the needle poked through I’m a huge cry lashed out and then suddenly he went “thats it!?” – he looked absolutely RELIEVED. He was brave, he stayed still and the Nurse was able to administer his flu shot! #itsthelittlethings

    Since we have an abundance of wonderful donations, I was also able to provide him with a little bit of a surprise! He had mentioned how much he liked cars, so I gave him the Cars Disney puzzle and some mini cars to go along with it. He was soooo happy and hugged me 3x. Child Life is awesome and is definitely one of the most rewarding careers out there!

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