February 24, 2004 Meeting Minutes
Start time: 5:05
Jessica Francisco, club president, started the meeting by sending around a personal information sheet to get new email addresses or new member info.Next was brief explanation of CDSA for new members
Description of meetings this semester
Dues- cost, pay for scholarship for one CDL family, children’s faire, fun without alcohol fair, etc.
Then Jessica introduced the board members that were present at the meeting
5:10 – 5:25
Speakers: Jennifer Adrian and Amy Cessna
They conducted their internship with six Child Life Specialists last semester at the Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento
Definitions of the Child Life Specialist responsibilities:
- Prep children before their stay in the hospital
- Pre tours of the hospital for children to become comfortable
- Conduct surgery prep-show on doll where the procedure will take place, etc.
- Psychological preparation with the child’s family as well
- Bereavement programs for siblings and other family members
- 6 child life specialists on call 24/7; if child is dying they come to stay with the family and make memory boxes with siblings; for infants they wrap them in blankets families can keep in remembrance
- Provide family support and education for parents about their child’s procedures
- Provide more sibling support
- Weekly sibling socials; waiting rooms with games, toys, TV, etc.
- Explanations of medical terms (i.e. operation is not just a game, changing a dressing involves bandages not clothes, IV is not a plant, etc.
- Help lower anxiety and ease the recovery process
- Put on a Remembrance event every year
- Families come and hear their deceased child’s name read and are given the opportunity to tell stories about their loved ones; provide lunch and have a special day of remembrance
Jennifer and Amy participated in music therapy on Fridays, giving attention to lonely children, holding infants in ICU who do not receive much physical touch, played with children in the playroom and waiting rooms, as well as attended a two hour class every Friday on the profession of Child Life Specialist
5:25 – 5:40
Question and answer segment
- Required for the field- 100hrs of volunteership in order to even apply for the internship through the hospital.
- 480-560hrs of unpaid internship (40hrs/wk) at a participating hospital. There are a few other hospitals in Sacramento that provide these services as well
- Then you can take the exam to become a child life specialist.
- Exams a twice yearly
- Approximately 600 people at exam; only 12 positions. Extremely competitive
- Do not necessarily need a masters degree
- Fluency in other languages is a plus
- Child life specialists gain emotional support from with themselves and their team
- Discuss in groups
- Use elevators doors to shut out the day (when they close so does the days events)
- Drink a cup of coffee and relax
- Go home and vent to family members
- Provide services to children of all ages, usually until age 18, but have even helped 20 year olds who have been diagnosed with childhood cancer
- Salary for Child Life Specialists can be compared to a starting elementary school teacher (approximately $40,000); varies across the nation; steadily becoming more prevalent which leaves room for better pay
Best and Worst: Amy CessnaFelt good because she was actually helping the children feel better about their situation.
But the circumstances themselves were emotionally draining.
Best and Worst: Jennifer Adrian
It was a good experience that showed her this was not the profession for her; she did learn a lot though that was not offered anywhere else.
The drive was miserable; they were not allowed to do many of the Child Life Specialist tasks; wound up washing toys a lot and babysitting children in playrooms.
5:40 – 5:45
Opportunity to look over the girls’ portfolios and take handout; ask more personalized questions; Child Life Council website
End of meeting