Procedure Prep: Take Your PICC

PICC lines are often used for long-term medication or for patients who have veins that frequently “go bad”. What I mean by “going bad” is that these veins often stop working due to being overworked or because the patient has small, thin veins to begin with that collapse the second a small straw (IV) is…

I Volunteer As Tribute

Perhaps you’re just getting started in the field and notice that there’s a lot of steps to this career. Feeling overwhelmed is totally normal. So where do you start? Perhaps you’re finishing up your practicum and feel like your resume still isn’t up to par with your peers. Maybe this is your third time applying…

In the Wake of a Trach

When I first began my pursuit into child life, I quickly learned that it all revolved around meeting children right where they’re at; looking at them at the same eye level requires physically squatting down speaking to them with words that they understand requires the use of developmentally-appropriate language expanding my “kid-smart” knowledge similar to…

Cancer: Before This and After This

Each hospital unit does things very differently based on the unit’s patient population. Some staff are more involved with their patients due to the continuous care a patient may need, such as the Oncology Clinic that sees their patients on a weekly or monthly basis. Because staff may see the same patient week after week,…

Anxiety Checkpoints: MRI Think I Can

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a special scan that takes pictures of the inside of the body. On the pediatric unit, we often have patients admitted for EEGs and MRIs after experiencing a seizure or multiple seizures. This is normally a quick, 24-hour stay as we can typically get them in for an MRI…

Un-PEE-lievable

Urine for a treat!  Get it? I have kept in journal entries and Facebook posts throughout the years of memorable moments with patients; I highly recommend this for anyone pursuing child life or anyone who works closely with children. Some of my favorites to look back on have been the ones when the bathroom is…

Putting the YES back in AutoNOmy

Children learn autonomy by making their own choices and decisions about their day; what they will wear, what they will eat, or what they will play with outside. However, when a child is in the hospital, these choices often get overlooked or are non-existent. It is important for children to feel like they have a…

Thirteen Reasons Why You Should Know More About Suicide

Many of you are familiar with one of the newest Netflix dramas, “13 Reasons Why.” If you’re not, it’s based off a book about a young high school girl, Hannah Baker, who ends up committing suicide; but before she does that, she records and sends out thirteen cassettes, each about a specific student/person from her…

A Sweet Way to Cope With New-Onset Diabetes

Brian* was diagnosed with diabetes at three-years-old. It was going to be a big adjustment for his family. The parents were taken to a separate room several times to be educated on how to handle diabetes now that it was going to be apart of their everyday life. Recently, I collaborated with one of my…

Some Days Are Cloudy in the Child Life Neighborhood

Last week I wrote about a couple of fun and interactive ways that Child Life Specialists work with children in the hospital. But not every day is full of laughter and smiles in an unfamiliar environment. Some days are full of uncertainty, fear, and sadness. Child Life Specialists are typically on the Pediatric/Pediatric Intensive Care…