Child Life Specialists at Boys Town National Research Hospital

Child Life Specialists at Boys Town National Research Hospital


Hi. I’m Becky Feller. I’m Gloria Goodenberger. I’m Mary Beth Himmelberg. I am Maggie Kelly. My name is Natalie Nelson. I’m Shannon Vaccaro. I’m a certified Child Life Specialist. I’m a Child Life Specialist. I’m a Child Life Specialist. I’m a Child Life Specialist at Boys Town
National Research Hospital. A Child Life Specialist is an advocate for
our patients here at Boys Town National Research Hospital, helping them understand new diagnoses
that they may be hearing, to help prepare kids and families for the hospital setting. We’ll provide information to them about
what they’re going to see, hear, feel, where they’re going to go, where their parents
are going to be. Child Life Specialists help kids understand
and cope with hospitalization and I do that by preparing them for what’s going to be
happening while they are here and use play and different tools like that to make the
hospital a little less scary. If I can give them the skills and tools needed
to help them less anxious, I just think that is so rewarding. Kids react really positively to us being by
their side. At first they are kind of nervous, new person,
but once they get to know what I do, what I’m there for, that I’m there for them
and them alone, they get a lot more comfortable. As a Child Life Specialist, I am somebody
that brings a little fun to an environment that’s a little bit scary. We’re kind of different in the medical field. We are not the nurse, we’re not the doctor. We’re not actually anybody doing anything
to them. We are there to be a voice for them. When you’re in the hospital environment,
people are throwing around all these big words that are hard for them to understand, so just
breaking that down and what that means. We also work with kids on what coping strategies
work best for them, so maybe deep breathing, squeezing a stress ball or holding a parent
or caregivers hands. My favorite things to do with the kids are
messy activities. I love to play Play-doh, painting and drawing,
things that are hands-on and give them that outlet to express themselves. I love to get into a game, just have a basic
conversation. I like to get to know them. What are their likes, their dislikes? I love to get into a good conversation with
them.

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