Fabulous Find Friday: Basket of Hope

Medicine is about more that drugs and machines. For people to heal, their souls need to be touched as well as their bodies. By caring for patients emotionally and mentally, we begin to care for the whole person instead of treating a diagnosis.

Basket of Hope does exactly this, they share games, toys, crafts and other items of comfort to patients who are diagnosed with cancer or other serious illnesses. Learn more about what goes into their baskets here

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Fabulous Find Friday: Project Sunshine

Today’s Fabulous Find Friday is Project Sunshine. I learned about this group at the National Child Life Conference back in May.

Project Sunshine is a nonprofit organization that provides free educational, recreational, and social programs to children facing medical challenges and their families.

Project Sunshine empowers a dynamic and dedicated corps of over 15,000 volunteers to bring programming – recreational (arts), educational (tutoring and mentoring) and social service (HIV and nutritional counseling) – to 100,000 children facing medical challenges and their families in 175 cities across the United States and in four international locations: Canada, China, Israel and Kenya.

Volunteers selflessly donate their time to create program materials and deliver programs. Working onsite, our volunteers relieve the anxiety of the young patients and in a context of fun and play, foster in them the courage and coping skills necessary to confront procedures that lie ahead.

Project Sunshine volunteers spread sunshine, restoring a crucial sense of normalcy to the pediatric healthcare environment.

Project Sunshine has a bunch of volunteer opportunities for both students and also community members. So be sure to check out their website: http://www.projectsunshine.org/volunteer/index.php

Fabulous Find Friday: Child Life Connection

If you are a student, then you are going to love this Fabulous Find! Today’s Fabulous Find is Child Life Connection.

Child Life Connection works to spread awareness about Child Life. Their mission is below.

Child Life Connection brings play, diversion and education into pediatric settings, all in an effort to make being in the hospital less scary for children!

I first learned about this site because I took my Intro to Child Life Course from the founder, Belinda Hammond. I would encourage you to check out their page and also follow Child Life Connection on FB. As students, we should be looking for every educational opportunity possible to learn more about child life. Child Life Connection is a great place to get started.

Fabulous Find Friday: Playopolis Toys

Today’s Fabulous Find Friday is Playopolis Toys!

If you are already working in the field, you probably already know about Playopolis. If you’re not, great! I’m glad I can share this toy company with you.

If the name sounds familiar, Playopolis makes the ever popular light spinners that are so great at distraction. If you’re not looking to buy toys right now, you might be wondering how this fabulous find can help you. Even if you’re not in the hospital right now, checking out the toys on this site gives you great insight into what kinds of toys are out there. Think about what the toy might be used for and what population you could give it to. Then when you do enter the hospital, you will be somewhat familiar with the toys.

Fabulous Find Friday: Little Patient

A friend recently suggested the Little Patient for Fabulous Find Fridays and I think it is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!

When she told me about the Little Patient, her exact words were “You can get a boy, a girl, or both, and they are dressed in little hospital gowns. Their tummies unzip to reveal many organs that are velcroed into place, so they are easy to take out, play with, and replace.” It was her favorite Christmas gift this year!

As you can probably see from the image above, the Little Patient comes with all the major organs. It would be a great teaching tool for children to learn about what’s inside our bodies. It is a plush toy, so it might be hard to incorporate into Child Life Practice at the hospital. But, the Little Patient would be great to give as a gift to help a child or in a setting that doesn’t have as strict infection control rules.

The Little Patient is available online here

Fabulous Find Friday: American Red Cross

Today’s Fabulous Find Friday is not exactly original, but it’s one that deserves mentioning. The American Red Cross does a lot for those in need, but what I want to focus on today is blood donation.

As you can see, I am a blood donor. (Please ignore the awful angle of the picture, I wanted to make sure to get the donation arm and my face. Not an easy task). I want to encourage you all to donate blood because it’s a simple way to make a difference. As future Child Life Specialists, it’s also a good way to gain insight into the child’s experience. Donating blood is obviously not the same as an intimidating medical procedure, but I’ve found it helpful to get stuck with a needle every couple weeks. It’s one thing to say, “oh, it’s just a little pinch/sting and then it’s over.” It’s another thing to experience the needle and sit with it in your arm.

If you are a donor, why do you donate blood?

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Fabulous Find Friday: Dandle*LION Medical

I love webinars! As much as I enjoy my college classes, there’s something to be said about learning things and not having to worry about related papers or tests.

Dandle*LION Medical has some great webinars about life in the NICU. Child Life Specialists are a growing presence in the NICU, yet I’ve noticed that much of the conversation focuses on school aged children in the hospital setting. Although these webinars are not Child Life specific, they provide insight into the experience of a NICU baby. Visit this link to learn more about their webinars.

Babies are so adorable and I think that everyone probably has a favorite baby story. In order to spread some joy and positivity this week, I would love to hear your stories. What’s your favorite baby story?

 

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Fabulous Find Friday: RAINN Online Hotline

Today’s Fabulous Find is not specifically Child Life related, but it is a way to provide support similar to what Child Life Specialists do. Child Life Specialists use empathy to reflect and validate the feelings and experiences of the children and families that they encounter. Unfortunately, this opportunity is really only available to my readers that live near New York City or Washington D.C.

RAINN provides a 24/7 hours hotline for survivors of sexual assault. For about a year now, I have worked as a staffer for their online hotline. What’s so great about this opportunity is that I can do it from my computer at home. The way this hotline works is that you choose when you want to do your handful of 2 hour shifts each month and then you can support a survivor through their online chat. The training is 40 hours of online training and then a weekend in either New York City or Washington D.C. Click here to learn more about how to get involved.

What are some of your favorite volunteer experiences that you have done?

Fabulous Find Friday: NCTSN

NCTSN is The National Child Traumatic Stress Network. We all know that the hospital can be a stressful time for a child, but there are many other times that children are exposed to stressful experiences in their lives. The NCTSN has a variety of great FREE continuing education credits that cover a broad range of topics related to children and trauma. College classes are great but they also cost money. These podcasts and webinars are a great way to learn more about children.

Where are your favorite sites for continuing education?

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Fabulous Find Friday: Help Kids Cope App

Today’s Fabulous Find Friday is Help Kids Cope.This is a helpful app for talking to kids about all sorts of natural disasters. By separating explanations by age and disaster, this app walks you through how to talk to your child about the disaster and also provides practical advice about what to do if you find yourself in a disaster setting.

What are your tips for talking to children about the “hard topics”?

 

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