February 2017: New Year of Changes
Thank you for your generous support of the Children’s Fund at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Over the past year demand for child life services has skyrocketed. It would have been impossible to meet our young patients’ needs without your dedicated support. Thank you for your compassion and kindness, which allows Child Life to engage, enrich, empower and heal families.
SIMPeds Child Life Specialist: New to Boston Children’s Hospital we have a child life specialist working in the hospital’s Pediatric Simulator Program. SIMPeds covers a host of activities, including the simulation of patient-to-hospital interactions, medical events, procedures, home care follow-up and more. In a room that can be arranged to simulate a child’s nursery, the dedicated child life specialist works with clinicians and families to help parents learn procedures such as inserting, removing or cleaning a tracheostomy tube. Community children and their families are also invited to participate in medical play, including working with an “X-ray machine” and other equipment.
Autism Child Life Specialist: Working exclusively in the Autism Spectrum Center, this child life specialist promotes the Autism Friendly Hospital Initiative of Boston Children’s Hospital by supporting patients with autism and their families throughout the hospital experience. Being at the hospital can present many challenges for patients with autism, including difficulties waiting, heightened sensory experiences and the unpredictability of the medical environment. The child life specialist supports each patient’s unique needs in a variety of family-centered approaches.
My Music Rx: The hospital has recently partnered with My Music Rx, a program of the Children’s Cancer Association, to send volunteer musicians strolling through the main hospital and other locations. The volunteers have been pushing a colorful rolling cart packed with guitars, ukuleles, hand drums and other melody makers. These roving balladeers are enchanting and engaging children and their families with nursery rhymes, lullabies and more. Right now the students dot the Emergency Department, Oncology and Surgery units and Teen Resource Rooms, as well as the Martha Eliot Health Center in Jamaica Plain.
A child arrives at Boston Children’s Hospital not just with a physical illness or injury, but with a rich history and inner life. Thanks to you, we are able to nurture each child not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.
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