Monday, August 8, 2016

Back to Basics: Child Life Assessment

It is hard to believe that summertime is, all too quickly, fleeting and pretty soon schools will be back in session. 

Despite how I may have felt several years ago when this time of the year approached, I now find myself longing to go back to those days when everything was still new, fresh on my mind, and exciting. 
It was in those days that I could take the things I saw written in my textbooks and use them for the first time. Every chance that was given to utilize a new skill in a clinical setting was done with such rigid precision and mindfulness of written text. At the time it was terrifying, but now I catch myself yearning for those moments of acquisition. 

Fortunately, the medical field is always changing which allows an opportunity for new skills to develop all the time. The only difference is, sometimes the onslaught of new information can push the ground work of your professional skills to the very back of your mind. 

For this reason, I ALWAYS keep my textbooks close by. I have never gotten tired of turning to those resources and replenishing my mind. 
I have a feeling I'm not the only one!
In my opinion, if you TRULY love what you do, then it's close to impossible to feel like you have "learned enough"

I say ALL of that to say...
This post was created based on my most recent desire to flip through the pages of my Child Life textbooks.
I found that I was refreshing my memory on so many things and it started to fulfill that sense of longing I had to be back in school again.

Let's get down to business! 

I decided to refresh myself on the topic of Assessment. 
This is a monumental part of ensuring the most effective care for children and their families. 
This chart represents the idea of stress potential assessment. The chart is based on the research discussed in "Psychosocial Care of Children in Hospitals." Gaynard (and company) layout the steps it takes to effectively determine how a child and their family may react to their particular hospitalization.
The two main variables are:
1. Stress Vulnerability
2. Heath Care Variables 
Once all of these factors are taken into consideration and properly assessed, the CLS rates the child on a scale of 1-5. 
Based on the outcome of the assessment, Child Life Specialists are able to develop the appropriate plan of care for their patient and patients families. 
This tool will also act as useful information to the rest of the healthcare staff, and will be referenced and reassessed throughout the patient's hospital care. The rating can also change in either direction if/when there are any new developments in the child's state of health, emotion and/or support system. Another reason the Stress Potential Rating Scale comes in handy is for properly prioritizing and management. This scale helps make the often tough decision of who needs our services the most.

I hope this little summer refreshment was as delightful for you as it has been for me! :) 

Until next time...
I hope the rest of your summer is filled with the most sunshine, simplicity, and silliness! 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Child Life Month 2016


The month of March is dedicated to the lucky charms of the hospital... 
also known as...

During this month the CLS team always comes together to figure out new and creative ways in which they can make patients and other hospital employees aware of the multitude of ways in which they can be of service. Because there is no time to verbally explain the wonders of child life to everyone, the CLS staff has to get slightly innovative with their approach. Some of the most common ways to spread the word are through brochures, handouts and/or unit bulletin boards. The problem that follows is knowing how to make those particular innovations stand out and grab the attention of others.
Which is why I have decided to do my part this month and lend out some inspiration to my fellow Child Life friends. I will share a few of the ideas I had for making the this month a little more fun, informative and a lot more COLORFUL! :)

My first idea for this month is a fun unit bulletin board that basks in the spirit of two of my favorite reasons for March merriment...
Child Life and St. Patricks Day!! 

The idea behind this bulletin board is to not only help people recognize the faces of the Child Life staff, but it is also a way to help people find a reason to connect with them. 
This is how I have imagined it....

It can, obviously, be adapted to the personality and creative minds of your individual CLS team... 
so here are my suggestions for making this mural of marvel your own...

This bulletin will appeal to so many with its bright and cheerful decor and will leave them wanting to know each Child Life Specialist even more!! :)

Wishing you all days full of color, compassion and creativity,

(feel free to reach me at blakely@craftstocure.comcraftstocure.coml for free printable