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?

Fall Themed Craft Kits

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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!

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!

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Don’t forget the teens

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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

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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!

Theme week – Day 5, World Fair!

For our grand finale of our theme week we decided to have a World Fair! We had stickers, passports, globe stress balls, and globe headbands to hand out to the kiddos that came by (all purchases from oriental trading.)

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As for crafts, kids could either travel to Brazil to make carnival headdresses or to Venice, Italy to make carnival masks.

Materials for carnival headdresses:
– foam visors
– foam shapes
– gems
– feathers
– tape

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Materials for carnival masks:
– plastic masks
– sharpies
– glitter glue
– gems

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Therapeutic activity of the week

This week I had a patient that was starting to feel sad about spending so much time in the hospital. I decided to make this thankful turkey with her so that when she starts to feel down, she can have a (festive) reminder of all the good things in her life. The activity was a big success and she and I had a lot of fun. Here’s a photo of the supplies I used (turkey materials purchased from oriental trading) & my thankful turkey!

This activity can be adapted to different seasons (flowers for spring, snowflakes for winter, etc)

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