Teacher Toolbox

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I am so excited to finally have my teacher tool box up and running! I’ve always been very organized and now I’m able to have all of my expired/left over medical supplies nicely sorted. You can find your own teacher tool box on Amazon.com – click here. They sell lots of different sizes so make sure to look around for one that best meets your needs. As for the labels, I found mine on tacherspayteachers.com – shout out to Classroom Ispirations! You can click here  or you can simply search “teacher toolbox labels” on teacherspayteachers.com and find other themes. Many of them are free like the one I used!

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Favorite find of the month

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As any child life specialist knows, finding a doll with plastic hair is like finding a hidden gem! Due to infection control precautions, cloth dolls or dolls with hair (barbie) should not be used in between patients because they are not able to be properly cleaned/sanitized. I was so excited when I found this Aladdin for 2 reasons:

1. his plastic hair making him easy to clean and maintain

2. Aladdin is a boy making him more relatable and engaging for my boy patient’s

I placed a PICC line on him for now but who knows, maybe in the future, he’ll need an IV or help me demonstrate an OR prep or a breathing treatment. I am so excited to have him by my side!

You can find your own Aladdin doll on  Amazon !

Favorite Find of the Month

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This month I stumbled across this hilarious illustration of the digestive system by “the awkward yeti”…

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After some further investigation, I came to find the artist’s website where I then found my favorite find of the month for June!

The awkward yeti has created a Kickstarter page to support his “organs attack” card game. You can watch the video of how the game is played here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/theawkwardyeti/organattack-a-card-game-by-the-awkward-yeti?ref=card

I am all for fun and creative ways to teach kids & teens about the “boring medical stuff” (their words, not mine) that happens in the hospital & the awkward yet is doing just that with his illustrations. Also, the “organs attack” card game looks like a super fun game to play with fellow medical staff. Way to go, the awkward yeti! 😍 !

Cystic fibrosis resources! 

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Working on a respiratory unit I often have patients that have been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). This is a population I never worked with at my previous position in the pediatric emergency room so I had a lot of learning to do coming into my new position. May is CF awareness month so I thought I’d share some of the amazing resources I have found to help educate and support our CF patients.

With a quick google search, I was able to find (free!) resources via the cystic fibrosis foundation web page. I requested a couple of items, one of which is my ultimate favorite: a coloring/story book about a little panda with CF name Huxi! I was also sent booklets for parents/caregivers, booklets for teens, and a big “ultimate guide to CF” binder, stress balls, and luggage tags. I am so thankful for all of these resources and how they will help my patients (and myself) learn more about CF.

To see where I found these resources, follow the link below:

http://www.foundcare.com/fc-patients/resources/

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

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Being a Child Life Specialist is great, but I feel that I cannot take full credit for the wonderful work that I do. There are many amazing organizations out there that work to provide Child Life teams around the nation with tools and materials that will help make the hospital experience less scary. Below are some of my personal favorites:
Headbands of Hope

http://www.headbandsofhope.com/

For every headband purchased, 1 is donated to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to St.Baldrick’s. I love headbands of hope and it’s thanks to them that on more than one occasion I’ve been able to bring smiles (and super cute headbands) to dozens of girls battling cancer.

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http://negu.org/joy-jars/

Inspired by Jessie Rees, the organization NEGU (Never Ever Give Up) has made it it’s mission to send a joy jar to children with cancer nation wide. NEGU makes it possible to give a jar full of (age appropriate) FUN to our oncology patients whenever they come to the hospital.

project sunshine logo

http://www.projectsunshine.org/

Project Sunshine is a volunteer based organization that provides crafts and supplies for hospitalized children. There are a variety of things that Project Sunshine provides its hospitals with, my personal favorite for the ER are the craft kits!

http://www.kidflicks.org/

I will be forever grateful for Kid Flicks – we all know how popular movie watching is in the hospital setting as well as how quickly DVD’s are lost, damaged, or stolen. I contacted them when I first began working in my department where there hadn’t been a child life specialist in over a year. Needless to say the DVD collection need some major TLC! After a couple of e-mails, I had a box with 100 DVD’s in my hands.

 Digging Deep - Building resilience in sick kids through journaling

http://diggingdeep.org/

Digging Deep is an incredible resource for school-aged/teen patients facing health-care challenges. It is beautifully written and designed to be appealing for the age group. I am incredibly thankful to be able to provide such an amazing resource for my patients that need it most. (side note: they just released their Spanish version!)

Favorite find of the month

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Probably just like most of you reading this, I’m a sucker for child life-y apps! This month’s favorite find is an app called “Okee in Medical Imagining” created by the Royal Children’s Hospital all the way in Melbourne, Australia. This very cute & child friendly app gives it’s users an insiders view on different radiology tests and procedures – focusing on the 5 senses (what will i see? hear? feel? taste? smell?). The wording is very clear and concise, perfect for parents to read to their child or for kids to read on their own. Aside from the educational side, there are also fun games for the younger population that focuses on things like holding still, taking deep breaths, filling up with “glow ink” (contrast), finding broken bones on an x-ray, decorating your own CT machine, giving finding sea stars inside a jellyfish with an ultrasound, venturing in the MRI submarine, and even games for nuclear medicine and fluoroscopy!

 For more information about the app visit: http://www.rch.org.au/okee/

Okee-gameplay Okee-cover

Favorite Find of the Month

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This month’s Favorite Find is a kickstarter campaign named Princessability that will create fairy tales where the leading roles are filled by princesses with a disability, cancer, or illness. Books will be available in English & in Spanish. Spread the word!

Website: http://princesasespeciales.com

Contact: Princessability@gmail.com

Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/266879378/princessability

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Favorite find of the month

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I thought I’d post my favorite find of the month a couple of days early this time around – before it’s no longer available! A few months back you might remember my post about prepping little ones for x-rays. I’ve been using my “cooper gets an x-ray” book along with a little camera to teach those concrete thinkers about picture taking & the mysteries that lie in that dark, “scary”, radiology department.

Well, this month I found an awesome little “camera” – LED flash & all – at Bath & Bodyworks. As child life specialists, were always carrying a million things in our pockets (I know I am) so the thing I loved most about this little camera is that it’s also a case for your hand sanitizer and a keychain! It’s a very fancy upgrade from my tiny spongebob camera and I can use it for many different things!

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Bath & Bodyworks – camera pocketpac case

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For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to the St. Baldrick’s foundation to fund life-saving childhood cancer research. Use promocode “hopediane” for a discount at checkout.