March is Child Life month, and well I am a Child Life Specialist by day. This week I have been 'celebrating' child life month by posting blogs on our work network system (iconnect) to educate staff. I do this every year, well that past two years. Last year it was an education email each week of the month covering a different topic each week. This is a great time to education staff, especially since the clinic I work in - child life is pretty much new to EVERYONE here. Last year I covered:
-Overview of Child Life
-Distraction & Pain Management
Each of those things are important in the child life field. This year, I just did one post each day of the week and covered:
-History of Child Life
-Basic Child Development
-What about Siblings?
-"What is Child Life?" Poem and the process to become a CCLS
I wanted to share the poem I posted today with YOU all! Because well it is what I do, and even though my job is on a smaller scale since I am at a small clinic. This poem ignited my passion that I remembered throughout my internship, oh how I miss the hospital setting.
Without further a-do:
What is Child Life?
A poem by Steve Slowinski, former Child Life Intern at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
What I’m not:
A social worker.
A “Keeper of the Toys.”
A magical “make-this-kid-not-cry” person.
Only someone to play with the kids.
I’m not superfluous.
What I am:
I am a teacher,
A helping hand,
An active listener,
A therapeutic touch,
And a child development specialist
I am an OR prep-er,
An IV teacher,
A de-coder of PICC, VCUG, MRI and NG,
A distraction provider,
An inpatient support,
And a guide and voice for siblings
All in the same day.
I am calm despite cancer, CAT scans, and catheters.
I am strong in the face of syncope, sickle cell, and surgery.
Kids can’t always do these things for themselves.
That’s why I’m here.
I am deliberate in all of my actions and words
Because I use the language of children
And it has power.
I am flexible and go where I’m needed
Because children can’t always be flexible
About when they’re going to freak.
I am not here to merely play with children,
give them toys, and distract them
I’m a Child Life Specialist.
When kids say they can’t, I tell them they can.