“You’re my Creativity Director”

This week, I met a family who was devastated by their healthy baby randomly coding, escalating into pretty immediate brain death, and therefore dragging them into the longest three days of their lives.  I met the family shortly after the code had happened and the child was intubated. The doctors needed to place an art…

Runner Ups and Second Chances

I’ve had several students express strong, emotional feelings about getting an offer on second offer day.⁣ “They didn’t pick me first”⁣ “They didn’t want me first” “They wanted someone else and then chose me when the other student said no” ⁣ ⁣Did you know that the song, “Hit Me Baby One More Time”- one of…

Hustling and Confident for the Last Seven Years

I have always had a passion for students. Taking it way back to when I was a child playing with my sister, I was always the teacher during our pretend play. I had toyed with the idea of going to school to be a teacher, but didn’t love the aspect of a room full of…

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Rainbows are bright spots usually appearing in bleak weather. They are colorful bridges that blend their hues together to make an optical phenomenon. Rainbows are also fleeting – when you catch a glimpse of one, soak it in while you can! You know who else does that? Child life specialists. The Bright Spots In a…

Death, Jesus and Memory Making

I was asked this question a month ago: “I  have always wondered about how child life services are implemented for death and dying situations, specifically coming from a fellow Christ-follower. I know it’s not professional to bring spirituality into the interventions, but it gives me conflicting thoughts. What are your thoughts and experiences…?” Death and…

The Calm in the Chaos

I distinctly remember the summer that I applied for spring internships. It was one of the most difficult summers of my life because I felt so inadequate. I felt the weight of all of the applications (27 of them) all piling up around me. I was living, eating, and breathing child life and I felt like I was suffocating.

Pet Pig Named Moana

Interviews are so nerve-wrecking. How do you remain yourself throughout the interview? How do you make sure that you’re not just a shell of a person answering all of the questions “correctly”? I’ve got the answer here!

My Journey and Yours

Finding out about child life at a college that knew absolutely nothing about child life was extremely challenging. I had no advisors that could lead me – I was completely on my own. If there’s one thing that I’m good at, it’s figuring it out on my own. I was an unaffiliated student, and everyone…

Everything Is Awesome on Pediatrics/PICU

I’ve worked on the Pediatric/Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for almost four years now. Here are a few of my tips for making the most of your interactions with staff, patients and families. Constant Rounding Nothing says “I’m child life and I’m here to party” quite like constantly making yourself seen and known. We have a…

Beating Bulletin Board Boredom

If there’s one quality that every child life specialist should have – it’s creativity; whether that takes the form of decor and education for the unit, arts and crafts activities for patients or quick and creative solutions to problems – it is an absolute must! One of my favorite ways of expressing my creativity is…

You Look Like You Belong There

Almost four years ago, I applied to my dream job at St. Jude Children’s Hospital. I grew up with the idea of St. Jude – seeing the commercials on TV, feeling for those children battling cancer – growing up, I thought I would be a nurse there. I went to college and decided prior to…

creativi-TEA-party

Some days, we’re called to help with things that feel like it’s hopeless to even try… like pill swallowing and drinking water. “Could you help my six-year-old buddy learn to swallow pills?” “Oh sure, I’ll go grab my magic wand, wave it over his throat and magically he’ll feel comfortable enough to swallow his pill.”…