I am now in my last week of my summer Practicum at Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. For most of the summer, I have observed the other Child Life Specialists at work. After every encounter with a patient, we always talk about it. Honestly, I think our conversations after visiting with the patients have been the best part. Definitely the most helpful.
Yesterday, I got to introduce Child Life Services to a patient for the first time. After watching others do it for the whole summer, it was so exciting to be the first face to hopefully make a difference for this patient. As I crouched beside the bed to say hello, I knew that this is exactly where I should be. I feel called to become a Child Life Specialist and make a difference for children in the hospital setting. When I made the introduction, it felt natural, it felt right.
My introduction was not without flaws. I talk fast when I’m nervous and I know that I started to pelt the 16 year old patient with questions like “what can I get for you?” “what do you like to do?” “do you want some arts or crafts…..what about board games?” My supervisor thankfully stepped in and lead some conversation to build rapport. Looking back, I probably should have started to get to know the patient instead of just what I can get for her.
Although my first introduction was far from perfect, I know that it’ll get better in time. And what I learned from that first introduction was much more than how to introduce services, I reaffirmed that I am on the right path. To me, Child Life is a calling. And I know that I’m on the right path!
“The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.”
– Fabienne Fredrickson