Sunday, February 6, 2011

One year ago today

Last year on February 5th I was saying goodbye to friends and heading to LAX to fly to New Zealand for five months. It is crazy how quickly time passes and how much happens in one year.

With that little moment of reminiscing out of the way, I can tell you all about my first day at my internship!

For any of you who don't know, I am doing my internship with a Child Life Specialist (CLS) who works in a hospital. I was not completely sure what to expect because in the days before I began, there was little communication. But there I was, at 8am ready for whatever was going to happen. I haven't ever worked with a CLS or interacted with one. All I knew was from what I had read online about the job.

So, there I was. Ready for the day. Step one was taking my picture for my super official hospital badge! I am very excited about this badge. It opens doors that people cant get through! I feel so official...or I will once I get it. Until then I am buzzing in and out of places. Next I got a little tour of the hospital and was sufficiently turned around in a matter of seconds and still have yet to have a totally clear picture of navigation around the hospital.

Most of my day was spent shadowing an intern who has been there for a while now and seeing what a day is like on the job here. So, we met with a lot of kids and their families in the outpatient area. So basically, my day consisted of showing the kids step by step what the whole process would look like. We have a binder that has pictures of all the things the kids will encounter in the hospital, the big one being the operating room. Anyway so we go through with the kids all the places they will go and what they will see. In that process we try to calm nerves and distract with toys and books. We have a box with some medical supplies they will see and have used on them so we let them see those and touch them and make sure they know none if it will hurt etc. Just very general kid stuff. Addressing fears and concerns and doing the same for parents to the best of our ability.

The other part of my day, and potentially my favorite part was doing Sibling Visits in the NICU. Obviously premature and sick babies have a lot of stuff attached to them at times and that can be a scary sight for kids when they don't know what it all does. So, what our role in that is to go and see the baby the family is coming to see and we come back and pull out a baby doll that is similar to their sibling and it has all the heart monitors, sometimes the tube into the nose, or an IV etc. So we show the doll to the kids and make sure they understand what it is everything does and it is to help the baby not to hurt it. So after that we teach them to wash their hands thoroughly and take them to see their sibling. It is so much fun to not only see the little tiny babies but also the joy in the faces of the family, especially the siblings who had yet to be introduced.

My day was long. I didn't leave until 5:40ish and had gotten there at 8am. It was also an incredibly wonderful day of learning and trying to cram as much into my brain as possible. The people I interact with have all been great and I am just so excited to go back to this twice a week. I am absolutely loving it and I hope that you all enjoy hearing about this as well.

On Tuesday I get to do what they call a teddy bear clinic. I have no idea what this is or what it entails, so come back sometime next week for more information on that one!

With love from Azusa,


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