. In my second full week at my internship, I am finding my confidence and my knowledge of Child Life growing in leaps and bounds. As I may have explained before, although I am completing the internship requirement for State, I am only considered a student at the hospital, and not an actual CL intern. At first I was a little frustrated that this limits what I am able to do at the hospital, but now I know that I am in the right position. After slowing becoming acclimated to the many aspects of the hospital and CL, I realize that having the position of a student who may only observe and may not get as "hands on" is okay. There is definitely a lot to learn and a lot to know about the profession. By asking more questions and keeping my ears open, I have finally learned the meaning of some crucial terms such as patients with NPO, RSV, contact/droplet (many patients have that), and 'appy's (appendicitis). Although I was a little overwhelmed at first, I am learning as I go and becoming more confident and comfortable.
. Another large part of building my confidence depended on becoming familiar with the medical staff. It seems like every time I am at the hospital I meet someone new! As the nurses and various other medical professionals are becoming more familiar with my face, I have found it easier to work alongside my supervisor. A few times this week a few nurses even talked directly to me which may seem weird to mention, but because of the hierarchy of a hospital (surgeons, doctors, np's, nurses, specialists, and eventually CL specialists & etc.), it is very encouraging to me. I knew from job shadowing that dealing with attitudes from this hierarchy is a somewhat frustrating part of a CL specialists job, but each positive experience I have alleviates my doubts. Although some people obviously do not like the CL workers, one nurse initiated a conversation with me without even questioning my status as a student or waiting for my supervisor to join me. Patients and their parents also appreciate the work of the CL department and I am now very willing to be an advocate for CL programs and their many benefits.
. Over time, as my supervisor notices my growing confidence and knowledge, she allows me to do more things and initiate more activities. This week I read more literature about CL, retrieved necessary toys and distraction tools, and was able to sit in on a procedural teaching lesson. Each new day brings more opportunities and drastically different experiences. On Wednesday I helped out in the classroom for a few hours, working on reading, math, and logic with some patients (yes, they do still have to go to school! -especially if they are at the hospital for an extended period). I have escorted patients to their rooms, ran to retrieve items from other departments, and have gone on rounds in other floors.
. Also, each day I am asked to interact more with patients which is exciting because I get to develop my skills as a student and also because merely observing can be a little mundane. Next week I am going to be working with a different specialist and I am excited about the new opportunities. However, I do not know exactly what to expect because I will be in the oncology clinic, a department I have never visited. Needless to say, next week will definitely be interesting!