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…

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…

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,…

A Hip, A Hop, A HIPAA Violation

This past week, I participated in my first ever Schwartz Rounds held at our hospital. What I thought was going to be a lecture, turned out to be a ‘join-me-at-the-table discussion’ with doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, child life specialists, volunteers and students. We discussed the very delicate topic of “What Happened To My Patient?”…

Show Don’t Tell

What did you learn in your practicum that you hope to take with you into your internship? The student simply said, “Show don’t tell,” and proceeded to talk about how if you’re not putting yourself out there on whatever unit you’re on, no matter how much education you provide the multidisciplinary staff

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…

Our Superpower is to Empower

When I first began in the child life field, I was taught that the nurses and multidisciplinary staff should be calling you for every procedure and every opportunity for education and distraction with patients. I was told that the nurses “probably wouldn’t call,” and that it was imperative that I insert myself whenever possible in…

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…