Playroom fun!

I recently got the gift of having a playroom on my unit! My new playroom has this big dry-erase wall which I was the most excited for. I turned it into an inspiration wall, this way my warriors can come by and pick out some words of wisdom to help them cope during their stay. There are also blank magnetic pads in case they want to leave some inspiration behind for others.

My playroom has blessed me with tons of storage space, two tables (a mini table for younger kids and a bigger table for older kids), a television, and there’s even a couch in there. I am still working on the set up and getting my playroom stocked & ready – I cannot wait for the grand opening.

For a list of more fun things I’m adding to my new playroom, check out my amazon.com list!

Link: http://a.co/5jFJ3qx

What fun things do you have in your playroom?!

Favorite Find of the Month

Good, ol’fashioned Duck Tape!

Many of the warriors I see are stuck with medical equipment after surgery to help them recover. Crutches, walkers, #halo traction , you name it! In an effort to make their gear a little fun and personalized, I keep a drawer full of Duck Tape.

Decorating their medical equipment is not just fun, it offers my warriors choices – which is HUGE in the hospital where many of the things happening to them isn’t a choice. This may result in negative feelings like anger or frustration, and it may even reach a point where they feel they have no control over their own lives. Offering choices, even as small as “how do you want to decorate your walker”, makes a difference & empowers patients.

What supplies have you used to help patients decorate their gear?

#MSDStrong

Today at 10am a group of employees and our kiddos from daycare participated in #nationalwalkout day with 17 minutes of silence and a walk around the hospital. The tragedy in Parkland hits close to home as #marjorystonemandouglass is only about a 45 minute drive from us here in Miami. As child life specialists, our role is to advocate for children inside & outside of the hospital, & advocate for their safety. Politics aside, it’s all about the kids. Keep them safe! #MSDstrong #childlife #childifespecialist #childandfamilyadvocate #itsallaboutthekids #adventuresinchildlife


Happy nurses week to each and every nurse I’ve had the pleasure of working with during my adventure in child life. Child life specialists are dedicated to making your job a little easier by keeping our patients (and their families) calm, distracted, and happy. You guys are rockstars! 💜💉💊🎉

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Happy Child Life Month, everyone! My schedule at work is jam-packed with fun events and activities for our patients, families, and staff to engage in all throughout the month of March. Some of these activities include a Child Life month kick-off carnival, a teddy bear clinic, a bubble party, a syringe painting party, and a Child Life birthday party!

I’m also doing something special this year for Child Life month… drumroll, please…!

Adventures in child life merchandise!

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You can find my Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Adventureinchildlife   – This has been a dream of mine for a long time and I’m so excited to finally get it started. Stay tuned as I will be adding more exciting merch in the upcoming months.

 

What fun and exciting things do you all have planned for this year’s Child Life month?

Blogging

In recent weeks I’ve been learning a lot about the health insurance portability and accountability act (HIPAA) and what that means for me as a blogger. What is HIPAA? HIPAA is a law that protects patient information and the security of health-care information. For example, if I were to post a selfie with, let’s say, Blue Ivy Carter in the hospital and captioned the photo “Omg, I had the fiercest patient today getting her tonsils removed!”; I’d be in LOTS of trouble and not only lose my job but have some legal issues as well. (For the record, I have never met Blue Ivy Carter nor do I know the status of her tonsils.) Anyways, what’s the big deal and how does this apply to blogging? Well, while that last example was obviously a HIPAA violation, you’d be surprised how vague the rules can seem.

With all of this talk about rules, I decided to compile a list of some of my own rules I follow in the blog world as a health care professional as well as some fun tips.

  • Always keep HIPAA in mind when posting ANYTHING! Does it include a patient’s name? Can someone recognize the patient from your story (even if you changed their name in the story)? Can someone find a connection between the patient and what you’re posting (i.e.,room number/date/family heirloom in the background of the photo)? If you answered yes to any of those questions or if you’re 1% hesitant- DON’T POST IT!
  • Don’t include the name of the hospital where you currently work in your post(s). Doing so could become a big marketing issue with your hospital.
  • If posting on Instagram, don’t skip the hashtags. We are pioneering Child Life in the social media world and we definitely want to prove ourselves as more than just #toyladies. Placed a g-tube in an American Girl doll? #childlifespecialist #childlife #pediatrics #healthcarejobs #education #gtube – Hashtags help reach a variety of audiences think high school students, nursing students, med school students, nurses, doctors, psych majors, education majors, therapists, anyone! Use hashtags to raise awareness of Child Life and the importance it has in the lives of children.
  • Bloggers: watermark your photos! Adventures in Child Life will be turning 4-years-old early next year which means I have uploaded lots of photos onto the internet. And boy, have those photos been saved, put through filters, downloaded, cut, resized, and uploaded by many other people. Luckily by watermarking my photos my name stays on them so if people want to share, the more the merrier! It’s a great way to get your blogs name out there. My favorite app to watermark is called “Over”.

When reading up on health care bloggers I found a great post that eased my HIPAA fears – follow this link to have a look for yourself: Don’t be afraid of HIPAA

 

What are some of the rules you follow, fellow health care bloggers?

Worth it: 003

 

 

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I found this hidden in my drafts & thought it would be great to post for today’s throwback Thursday! This was written about a year ago when I was still working in the pediatric emergency room. I love this post because stories like these happen all of the time thanks to child life specialists!

(The patient’s name has been changed for privacy.)

When I walked into 6-year-old Bettys room to do an IV teaching, she was nowhere in sight. I asked mom if she was in the bathroom when Betty started to scream from under the sink.  (Side note: Can you imagine being so scared that you hide under a sink?! )”No!” “I don’t want the needle!” “You’re not going to pinch me!” I then crouched down and sat in front of Betty to introduce myself; “Hi, Betty – my name is Diane and I’m a Child Life Specialist. I don’t have any needles with me, but I did bring my bubbles. Do you like blowing bubbles?” Betty nodded. We started to blow bubbles and Betty hesitantly popped them from under the sink. After a little, I said “why don’t you come out from under the sink so that you can pop them better… I’ll make a big one for you!” “Okay!” Betty said & came right out from under the sink.

As we continued to pop bubbles, I started to ask Betty about her  hospital experience. It was her first time, she felt very sick, and she was very worried they might give her a shot.  I validated her feelings and then began to talk to Betty about the different ways we were going to help her feel better while she was in the hospital. I told her about the urine test she did, the flu test she did, the strep test she did, and about her upcoming IV. Betty was now aware that the IV meant that there was going to be a “pinch” involved and that the most important rule for getting her IV was that she could not move her arm because her veins (aka, blue tunnels) are very slippery. Betty also made the decision to play on the iPad while they started her IV so that she didn’t have to watch, and she wanted her nurse to count to 3 before the pinch.

Our plan was in place. I told Betty I would go let her nurse know that she was ready and she nodded & hopped up on the bed. Betty did GREAT with her IV, you would have never thought she was hiding under the sink screaming just 10 minutes before. I was so proud of her and how brave she was with getting her IV!