January 6th marks my one year anniversary of having started my career as a Child Life Specialist. I thought I’d be cool if I shared some things I learned during my first year as a CCLS as well as some confessions!
- Socrates could not have been more right when he said “To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.” With this year coming to an end, I am shocked at how much I’ve learned this year through all of my experiences. I can’t help but wonder how I survived the first couple of months not knowing what I know today. When I finished my internship I thought I knew it all and was READY to take on the (child life) world! Turns out I didn’t (and don’t) know it all but I am constantly growing and learning.
- My introduction of services changes as often as the hospital makes me change my passwords. Does this happen to anyone else?!
- It’s so rare to meet a family that knows what Child Life is that when a mother says “Oh! we love child life!” I (on more than one occasion!) become so shocked I lose my train of thought and forget what to say.
- It’s a lot harder to get (appropriate) donations than it seems.
- As much as I tell patients to take a deep breath and let it go, I give myself the same advice. Sometimes there are just some situations where nothing I do/say helps, and that’s okay! Better to have tried and lost than to have never tried at all.
- It’s hard at first, but it’s so exhilarating to have the weekend off and not check your work e-mail from home.
- Not all days are filled with fun, exciting, and clever Child Life interventions, but the days that are… those are the best days.
- Prioritizing is a skill and needs to be practiced. For example, the other day I was on the way to the bathroom when a 6 year old girl ran out of her room screaming and crying because the doctor just told her she’s going to have blood drawn. As I was walking up to her another doctor stopped to ask me to assist with a nervous 8 year old laceration repair. While trying to decide who to help first, my phone rings with the radiology department asking for my assistance with a 3 year old patient that is having a hard time coping with her CT scan. So, in these three situations that were happening at the moment, how do I prioritize? I’ll let you guess which situation I took care of first, but I can tell you that I waited until all of this was over and everyone was happy until I went to the bathroom! 1 point for my super bladder!
- Gaining holiday weight is not a thing for Child Life Specialists because you spend the month of December running, carrying, squatting, and pushing heavy stretchers/flatbeds through the hospital – and we couldn’t be more grateful!
- I am so incredibly happy that I get to go to work every day and do my dream job.