As a mom, I like having a plan and checking things off my list. I also like to see my plans coming to fruition. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned since being a mom, it’s that nothing goes as planned.
Since August, I’ve found myself sitting in the emergency room of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin not once, but twice with two of my three children. Both situations were not in my plan.
I sat there both times feeling anxious and worried, but forcing a brave face for the sake of my hurting children. Even though I didn’t have a plan, I knew Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin did — thanks to their amazing team of doctors and child life specialists.
Child life specialists had a plan, when we didn’t
I can remember when the surgeon talked me through the process of taking care of my daughter’s dog bite to her face. He reassured me that everything would be fine and that a child life specialist would be present to help us through it.
I had no expectations because I had never worked with a child life specialist before. Our experience was truly amazing! She knew exactly how to communicate with my daughter in a way that even I couldn’t have done. She asked her a few quick questions, and within minutes she had my daughter completely enthralled with an iPad and some fun toys. I sat back and watched in amazement as the doctors worked on my daughter’s face while the child life specialist kept her smiling the entire time.
When I unexpectedly returned to the emergency room a few months later with my son, I prayed that someone from the child life team would be on staff that night to help us. I knew he needed stitches in his head and I knew there was no way this was going to go well without some help. We were blessed again with a fabulous member of the child life team who swooped in like a fairy godmother with his favorite movie and a cool toy to keep my little man happy while they sutured his head.
I can’t express enough how thankful my husband and I are for the women and men that make up the team of child life specialists. They had a plan when we didn’t, and for that we are grateful. The child life team is another reason that we absolutely love and boast about Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
– Marlaina Ulrich, guest blogger
The goal of the Kohl’s Child Life Program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is to normalize the hospital experience for patients and their families through play, socialization, preparation and support during procedures.