Monday, December 13, 2010

The Child Life Video I Promised...

A Day in the Life of a Child Life Specialist at St. Jude's Children's Hospital

Child Life

It's been awhile since I've posted.  I have a few things I should probably start posting about...a response to an article that I've wanted to put up for awhile and I'm getting ready to start my own Etsy shop, so I've been thinking about posting about that.  Oh yeah, and we're trying to buy a house.

So for those of you who read my blog, thanks again and sorry that it's been so long. :)  I will update on my oh-so-exciting (not really, but I'm enjoying that) life soon.

But tonight, I am tired and I have to work tomorrow, so it will be a quick post.  Or at least I'm going to try.

Tomorrow, I am meeting with a Child Life Specialist to discuss the job position and the requirements for certification.  I am very excited and would greatly appreciate any prayers, kind thoughts that you would send my way.

Right now, I'm just trying to figure out my next calling in life.  Clearly, it isn't teaching.  And while I am enjoying being a hearing screener for now, it's definitely not a forever position for me.  I am grateful for the opportunity in this economy, but it's only part time, it doesn't pay very well and it just isn't what I envision doing for the rest of my life.  Which is fine.  It's certainly better than nothing and it's nice to have something significantly less taxing than my last job.  Plus I get to hang out with babies and meet new people every day.

I found out about Child Life from my friend, Ellen, who is a Med/Peds resident in Houston.  Basically that means that she's studying medicine to be able to practice on both adults and children.  The best part is that she can really provide that gap for people like my brother who have adult problems, but need the bedside manner and skills of a pediatrician.  (For those of you who may not know, my brother has Down Syndrome and Autism, if that provides any clarity.)  Ellen and I were talking about what I should do next and she suggested Child Life, so this is something that's sort of been rolling around in my head for about a year now.  Ellen also introduced me to my husband, so if I do decide to pursue this as a career, she will have had a pretty distinct impact on my life. :)

I mean, she will have had a pretty awesome impact either way, but it will be even more dramatic.  (Not trying to downplay you, Josh.)

So what is Child Life?  I'm going to try to link a video that gives a great explanation, but I'll also put the Child Life Council website.  Child life specialists help kids who are receiving medical treatment, often in the hospital.  They teach kids about the procedures they'll undergo, provide therapeutic and educational play, sibling support and distraction during medical procedures.  I love kids and I feel like this might be a way where I can actually feel like I can have an impact.  I can't make their ailments go away, but I might be able to provide some understanding and emotional support along the way.

It's not something that I'll be starting right away.  I have a lot to do to even be eligible to sit the certification exam.  I have to pick up about ten classes that relate to Child Life (basically psychology, child development, that sort of thing), since I didn't take anything remotely related in college.  I also have to complete an internship/fellowship and then sit the exam.  So, it's a ways off, but I feel like I might finally have some direction.

We'll see.  Maybe this is only a stop in the journey.