Earlier this week I had a 2-year-old girl, let’s call her Lily, come into the ER because she had gotten into her grandmothers blood pressure medication. I was able to successfully distract her during her IV, being hooked up to a monitor, etc. After all of this, however, came the hard part… getting her to drink all of the activated charcoal on her own to avoid an NG tube.
Luckily, Lily was thirsty from the moment she arrived to the ER so when she got a bottle with a “black milkshake” in her hands, she quickly latched on and chugged a good amount! After a few gulps, her mouth and chin were covered with black goop and a small drop splattered onto her hand. She stopped drinking and asked me to clean her hand for her (such a girly girl)! However, this was the end of her willingly drinking the “black milkshake” and there was still about a quarter left.
The nurse told mom that Lily needed to drink the entire amount given because this was being given as an exact dosage. At this point mom started to get a little nervous begging Lily to drink it, bribing her with toys, trips to Disney world, ice cream, you name it. But Lily was not budging – she would quickly turn her head the other way and scrunch her forehead.
This is when my “Child Life Lightbulb” turned on! I rushed out of the room and grabbed my tea set (shout out to my Child Life Assistants for always keeping my toys clean for situations like these!) I set up the tea set for Lily, mom, the nurse, and I to have some fun. We pretended to pour tea into our cups, cheers, put “air sugar cubes” in our tea, sing, etc. Lily still wasn’t too happy to be drinking out of her bottle since everyone else had tea cups so, the nurse poured Lily’s drink into a medicine cup which she seemed to be satisfied with. And just like that, Lily drank the last bit of her black milkshake! Thanks to such a pro-child life nurse & a calm & supportive mother, we were all able to work together to help little Lily drink her activated charcoal, avoiding another procedure. This is definitely a Child Life win in my book!
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.
(No teddy bears were hurt during the making of this event.)
I came across this documentary this weekend on HBO. I definitely recommend it! It gives great insight to bereavement camps and the way children view death. According to my U-Verse info, it will be available until May 12, 2014.
Being that I work in the emergency room I am constantly prepping little ones to go get an X-Ray done. Luckily, my amazing co-worker, Caroline, shared one of her X-Ray prepping techniques with me!
The book Cooper Gets An X-Ray is great because it shows colorful, child friendly pictures of what an X-Ray machine looks like, explains that the machine can be moved around, shows examples of the “heavy vests” one might wear, sounds you may hear, and it also shows that a light may shine on them when taking the picture.
I also use that little camera to explain to my concrete-thinkers that if we were to take a picture of them with that camera we would only be able to see the outside of their bodies – to be able to see the inside, we need to use the X-Ray camera.
I’m so excited that I found this awesome 2-in-1 bubble wand with spinning light on top! This works great for distraction – especially with toddlers/preschool kiddies whose attention span isn’t always the longest. I bought this little gem at Walgreens in the Spring/seasonal isle for $3.99. Happy bubble blowin’ & light spinnin’ fellow child life-ers!
This may look like just your average run of the mill 1940’s slinky, and it is…kind of. A slinky can be used by Child Life to teach a school aged patient about a lumbar puncture by comparing the slinky to a spine. Pretty cool, huh? It can also be used for endless fun if put on an escalator!
While searching around Georgetown University Hospital’s Child Life resources page, I found this awesome list of books that may be helpful to children dealing with hospitalization. Check it out!
Helpful Books about Hospitalization
A book is a great way to start explaining different things your child may see in a hospital. These are some recommendations.
A Hospital Story: An Open Family Book for Parents and Children Together By Sara Bonnett Stein (Walker and Co., 1983)
A Visit to the Sesame Street Hospital By Deborah Hautzig (Random House, 1985)
At the Hospital By Amy Moses (Child’s World, 1997)
Barney and Baby Bop Go to the Doctor By Margie Larsen, Dennis Full (Scholastic)
Coping with a Hospital Stay By Sharon Carter and Judy Monnig (Rosen Publishing Group, 1987)
Curious George Goes to the Hospital By Anne Civardi (EDC Publishing, 1994)
Going to the Hospital By Fred Rogers (GP/Putnam’s Sons, 1988)
Let’s Talk About Going to the Hospital By Marianne Johnson (Powerkids Press, 1998)
The Hospital Scares Me By Paula Hogan and Kirk Hogan (Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers, 1990)
This is a Hospital, Not a Zoo By R. Karim (Truesdell Services, 1998)
When Molly was in the Hospital: A Book for Brothers and Sisters of Hospitalized Children By Debbie Duncan (Rayve Productions, 1994)
Why am I going to the Hospital By Claire Ciliotta and Carole Livingston (Lyle Stuart Inc., 1981)
“Comfort holds are used by parents and caregivers during treatments to reduce stress and anxiety in the child and help immobilize an arm or leg for procedures.” The following link has some information on different comfort holds & procedures they can be done for.