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…

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…

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…

VCU-Gee I Wish There Was A Different Way To Do This

VCUG’s are hands-down one of the worst procedures. Depending on the age of the patient, the way you provide preparation/how much time you have to prepare, and how much the parents prepared the patient at home throughout the week leading up to the procedure (this is SUPER important) can make all the difference. However, even…

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…

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…

Let Them Be Little

Working in the hospital, it’s easy to forget that this is not the child or family’s normal routine. This may be something I see everyday, but they don’t; as the Child Life Specialist, it’s important to walk the patient through exactly what will be going on in developmentally-appropriate terminology. One patient (four-years-old) that I really…

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Child Life Neighborhood

Child Life has been around for years, but so frequently when I go into patient rooms for the first time and introduce myself, “Hello, I’m Jessica and I’m the Child Life Specialist here today,” so many of them quickly ask, “And what is that?” before I have the opportunity to finish my sentence! Child Life…