Last week I attended the annual Child life Greater New York conference. This was the second one I have been to. It was a wonderful chance to meet people in the child life world. It was also great to see my fellow classmates and teachers! There were great presentations beginning with an awesome keynote speaker! I was moved as the woman spoke about her experience as a mother with children who experienced hospitalization. I was particularly moved when she described when her young daughter shared her hospital experience with her classmates. She explained the intense fear of her daughter scaring the children with details of her hospitalization. Instead she was blown away at her daughter’s ability to recall the words used when she was educated by a child life specialist about a “magic wand” that was used to help her get better. This for me highlighted the power that child life specialist’s have with word choices! It definitely eased the child’s anxiety and confidence in sharing her experience with her classmates.
At the conference I attended a great presentation about providing services according to the individual child. I already knew the importance of this but it was a great opportunity to hear, gain perspective from providing services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. I also attended a presentation about alternative settings where child life fits in. It was a great opportunity to align the child life skill-set to various job descriptions. I also had the chance to identify the skill-set that would make for a strong child life private practice.
The last presentation I attended was about the power of words and utilizing it with patients and parents. There was a woman who was a mother of a patient who spoke of her experiences with different professionals and how the words made a significant difference in how she felt.We also watched some clips of different people who shared their experiences with hospitalization and how they were treated. We watched a clip of a teen who was experiencing a deteriorating neurological disorder. She wrote an incredible speech about her experience with her condition. It was one of those speeches I couldn’t help but get choked up about it. The presenter then spoke about her role with parent to parent engagements. She provides support and provides a writing project to enable the parents to cope. This is a beautiful approach that inspires me as I move forward.
It was a great day! I definitely recommend doing what you can to attend any local child life conferences, as it is beneficial for networking, gaining perspective, and adding great resources to your tool box.
So the beginning of this week was extremely intense, actually scratch that these last months were quite intense. I applied to 13 hospitals for child life internships. School required 14-15 and that is what seems to be the overall recommendation. Although there are a lot of hospitals out there, many do not offer child life internships. I went through the intensity of applying for 14 but one of the hospitals decided to pull out of doing an internship, to revamp. This happened for one of the hospitals I applied to for practicum! It was so crazy that they did that so close to the application deadline. In any case, I feel there is a reason for everything and it was for the best. So typically internship sites have only 1 spot! That alone makes it quite stressful as it is extremely competitive. Tuesday morning was sheer anxiety- no matter how you slice it, I was nervous!!!!
I am so beyond grateful to say I got into a wonderful internship!!!!!
A WORD OF ADVICE: Always call to confirm your email was received! I accepted the offer in response to the offer email, also on Tuesday. However, on Wednesday I didn’t hear anything. I waited until 3 pm to call and confirm that they received my email. When I got home I received an email stating they were so happy to get my voice mail because the email didn’t make its way to their mailbox! I was surprised that that happened since it said it was sent on my end! However, it taught me never to wholeheartedly rely on technology for these important instances!!
It feels so validating that I got an internship, as I am even more motivated to complete the last three classes I am currently enduring!!! I am graduating on time with my class 2017! Come January I will be closer to the end of grad school= closer to certification!!!!
**To anyone and everyone out there: Do Not Give Up if you are passionate about it. Even though it is hard, it is worth the fight with yourself to push through!!!!!!
So I have been juggling grad school and a practicum. Looking back it might have been best to do the practicum while not in school. With that being said, school is moving along! 🙂 I have one more summer class and then in the fall I have 3 more classes. In the spring I intend on doing an internship and my masters project. I have been brainstorming ideas for my masters project, which hopefully will come to a final decision soon. I am almost done!!!!
I just found out about a training workshop in September for working with children in disaster relief. I also might have an opportunity to get certified training in infant massage instruction, which I had planned on doing! If it is possible I will do both!
However, I do have to keep in mind that I have a lot on my plate already, so if it is not in the cards right away, I will do it down the line.
I am so excited to keep learning!
Well last weekend I had my graduation ceremony in Manchester, New Hampshire! I am an official graduate, (although I have had my diploma since October 2014-just saying). Nonetheless it was a special occasion and a huge accomplishment that I am so happy I experienced!
Now as some of you may or may not know where I left off with my Child Life path, it is time for an update. It turns out I did not get an internship for the summer program. I knew it would be very competitive and most of the hospitals only had 1 slot with several applicants.
I accomplished all-said requirements of the Child Life Council before applying to internships, including the child life course taught by a Certified Specialist. With those all fulfilled, I attempted to, I suppose cut corners, skip getting the masters and take a chance on getting an internship without it.
However, as time had gone by more internship programs were preferring the students who have their masters. Furthermore, the Child Life Council is going to be requiring a masters in a few years.
As I wasn’t having luck of acceptance into an internship program I decided I wanted and needed to develop more of a foundation in Child Life that would prepare me for the internship and on the job. With that, I decided to apply to graduate school!
I just got accepted into Grad school and I will be getting my masters in Child Life!
I cannot wait to continue the next chapter of my journey!
It really just hit me, (I guess I was a little slow) but I can’t believe we just finished the first week of December. Winter is really under way.
Christmas is coming very soon-I need to get my gift shopping done asap!
I am in the end of my 6th week of my fifth term at school! I’m working on my final papers. Its kind of funny how every time the end of a term is approaching it still surprises and excites me. I look forward to finishing my classes in each term, but I also just marvel at how much I learn in just 8 weeks. I also always look forward to my next classes that I have set up for the next term. After my two weeks vacation, in January I begin my 6th term where I am taking personality psychology and physiology/anatomy. It will be very interesting, I’m excited!
Here’s to knowledge!
~Thirsty for more