Company/Organization: Hackensack University Medical Center
Mentor(s):Ms. Erika Belli
Topic of Internship
Child Life Specialist
Hackensack University Medical Center was discovered in 1888 with just 12 beds, becoming Bergen County’s first hospital. Since its foundation the hospital has flourished and developed, becoming one of the largest medical institutions in New Jersey. It is a non-profit research and teaching hospital that has been cultivated into becoming the largest provider for patient services in New Jersey. Located near New York City, only seven miles away, HUMC provides healthcare needs for northern New Jersey as well as the New York Metropolitan area. The hospital is affiliated with medical schools such as Rutgers University. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of Bergen County’s largest employers with a work force over 7,600 employees and an annual budget of $1 billion. There are more than 1,600 physicians and dentists of the medical staff that represent the full range of specialties and subspecialties. HackensackUMC has created an environment that encourages the medical staff, especially top doctors, to go beyond the traditional thinking and research. In 2015-2016 Hackensack University Medical Center was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey by U.S. New & World Report as well as, one of the top four hospitals in the New York Metro Area. Child life specialists are pediatric health care professionals who work with children and their families in hospitals or other settings, in order to help them cope with challenges of hospitalizations, illnesses and disabilities. Child life utilizes play and the arts for developmentally appropriate interventions to support coping, decrease stress and optimize development while pediatric patients are hospitalized or dealing with an illness.
Summary of Internship
As an intern at the Don Imus WFAN Pediatric Center For Tomorrows Children Building, in the Child Life Specialist department, I had the opportunity to work alongside Ms. Erika Belli along with a couple of other CCLSs. I was in charge of stocking the bookshelves in the waiting rooms, in order for patients to have something to read and if they wanted they were able to take them home. I would provide the patients along with their siblings activities to keep them occupied and in order to minimize the wait. Some of the activities provided are coloring books, puzzles and word searches. Sometimes I was able to go to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, alongside Ms. Kim Mason and help her out with the patients. I would receive a list of patients and from there I would ask them if they needed anything, such as a toy or if they wanted to watch a movie. I would stay with the patients, meanwhile their parents took a break whether it was to go for a walk or to get something to eat. My internship consisted of keeping patients calm and allowing them to get their mind off of the fact that they were in a hospital, away from home.
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