MAGNET MONDAY: A backpack full of fun contributes to care for quad’s whole family
From the eyes of a 3 year-old, having your mother hospitalized for weeks is a pretty big deal. You want so badly to see her, yet when you get to the hospital, there is not much for a kid to do. To compound the issue, you’ve also been told that when Mommy does finally come home, she will bring with her four new babies!
You’ve probably heard about the quadruplets born at AAMC in November. This is the story of the family’s other child, little Tyler. Tyler loved coming to the hospital to see him mom, yet after being in a small room with nothing for him to do, it became boring.
The staff knew it was important for Tyler to have positive memories of his mom’s hospitalization. After all, his world was about to change. In a short time, he would go from being an only child to one of five.
In order to create a positive experience and to help this soon-to-be brother understand his new world, Child Life Therapist Meghan Siegel prepared a backpack of toys and games for him. The pack contained bubbles, games, balls, books, cars — all things to help keep a 3 year-old happy and entertained during his visiting time with mom.
Some of the items required parental interaction, designed to help mom and dad spend some special one-on-one time, and some were catalysts for talking about the new babies. Tyler and his family really enjoyed looking through the backpack and playing with all the fun new toys.
The story is just one example of the work done by AAMC’s two Child Life Specialists and one Child Life Assistant. They have specialized education to understand and address the unique needs and perceptions of children various ages and developmental level. Their job is multifaceted — they help demystify the hospital world for children through therapeutic play and provide distractions for children during painful or frightening events.
At AAMC, we utilize an interdisciplinary team to care for the whole family. That’s Magnet. In the little things and in the big things, it makes a difference in the lives of our patients and their families.