Grape medicine cups 


Taking medicine isn’t always easy – especially when it needs to be taken every day for an extended period of time. Non-compliance with taking medicine can also cause a great deal of stress for parents, especially when it’s the one thing keeping the patient from being discharged. One of my patients was having a hard time with this task so to make things a bit more tolerable, we decorated her medicine cups. This patient really wanted it to be grape flavor however we couldn’t give her that option for this particular medication. To try and fix her grape craving, we stuck with the grape theme for her medicine cups. The medicine is still unpleasant, but creating these cups & giving her choices made the whole process a little more tolerable. What are some ways you help patients be compliant with taking their meds?

Shield of Bravery!

img_0485
One of my younger patients was a little shy and nervous to be back in the hospital setting so we made a shield with tips to help him be brave. We had a lot of fun making this shield and of course, I learned so much more about him during the activity. I learned about his past hospital experiences, different ways he copes during procedures, and which procedures he has a difficult time with. He proudly hung up the shield on his bedroom wall and now had a visual reminder of his own tips on how to be brave.

His tips to himself were:

  • Take medicine to help you feel better
  • Look away
  • If you get bored, call volunteers to come and play with you
  • Count down
  • If you don’t want to take your medicine, just take it fast and get it over with (this one was my personal favorite)

Fall Themed Craft Kits

IMG_6251

I’m all about waiting room craft kits! Especially seasonal ones! I mean, c’mon, look how cute these little “Fall Friends” are!! These craft kits are very easy to make and I am truly blessed to have such great volunteers that help me make dozens of them (thanks sofi & stephanie).

All you need is:

Then you just put 10 shapes and half of a construction paper into a baggie & voilĂ ! Fun, seasonal, adorable, mess free waiting room crafts ready to go!

Holiday craft kits.

I’ve been putting together some holiday themed craft kits for the kiddos in our ER. I was able to find these gingerbread foam stickers from oriental trading & made little bags with 10 in each & a white piece of paper. They’ve been a huge hit so far & were super easy/cheap to make.

IMG_2470.JPG

Budget friendly beading

IMG_1094.JPG For a while my beaded bracelet kits have been a huge hit in the ER, however at $9 for a dozen, it can get pretty pricey. Luckily, I decided to make my own beading kits! All I needed was a roll of string, beads, and plastic baggies (which I had from the hospital). They’re as popular as the previous beading kits and I’m saving a ton of money with now only purchasing beads and string rather than the kit itself. This is definitely a “win” in my book!

Easy peasy waiting room activity

I just recently had a volunteer assigned to my department which I am very excited about! By having a volunteer, I can now engage patients with fun activities that can help normalize the environment & beat the boredom while they wait. One activity that I put together is a simple “greeting cards” craft.

Materials:
– construction paper
– markers
– foam stickers

Instructions:
encourage patients to create a greeting card for a loved one, their doctor, their nurse, their child life specialist ;), or another patient!

20140618-124625-45985835.jpg

Teddy bear casting clinic

Today my fellow CCLS & I helped in hosting a teddy bear casting clinic outside of a local children’s theater. It was so much fun! The kids loved learning how to cast their bears & being able to feel the supplies used. We successfully casted tons of Teddy’s with broken arms and legs.

20140517-195107.jpg

(No teddy bears were hurt during the making of this event.)

Don’t forget the teens

20140304-143440.jpg

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

20140304-135901.jpg

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!

Child life month – first timer

20140307-151235.jpg

As you all may know, this is my first year celebrating Child Life Month as a Child Life Specialist! Very exciting!! However, I am the only CLS in my department so it’s really up to me how I decide to celebrate Child Life month (no pressure, right?!). Being that I started working in January, I am still too shy to go all out and make shirts, organize a flash mob, create games with prizes, call the news stations, etc. So, here’s what I’ve done!

– A banner (Mara Mi tablecloth target- on sale!) which I hung above a main intersection in our unit. *Warning* the paint bleeds through the tablecloth & paper placed between floor & tablecloth will stick to the tablecloth when dry. #RookieMistake
– We have a bulletin board in our staff bathroom which needed a little tlc so I (with the help of some fabulous nurses that are very excited for Child Life month) fixed up the bulletin board & added a fun little Child Life info sheet which I’ll change weekly for the month of March. The info sheet includes: child life tip, did you know…?, get to know your child life specialist (2 truths & 1 lie about me), & a favorite child life quote.
– I was also able to gain custody (for this month at least) of a bulletin board in a high-traffic area in our unit! I dressed it up with “Lucky to have Child Life” (idea inspired by a post on the Child Life Council blog) & a “who, what, when, where, & why” about child life (info from the Child Life Council as well).
– I wanted to do a little more so I met with my boss to see what she could help me with to celebrate Child Life month & I was able to write a post for the monthly newsletter and have food ordered for the staff on a date of my choice.

Not too shabby for a first timer, if I do say so myself! The staff in my ER is great and really supporting my role as a CLS. From doctors and nurses giving me excellent referrals, to staff members asking if they can help me bag crayons or clean toys, to even brainstorming child life month activities! I may be the only cls in my department but I’m definitely not alone :).