Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Final Thoughts on My Internship

Below is my last journal from my child life internship. I knew it would be a growing experience and sometimes growing can be tough, but well worth it in the end. It was also a summer of personal reflection in helping me to heal and move forward with my life. It is part of the process of embracing this life, the life that I have now and figuring out where I want it to go.

I have one week left of my experience and I am beginning to reflect upon my time at ***, I can confidently say that I feel my decision to come here for my internship was the correct choice. I sought out a child life internship program that would challenge me to grow personally and professionally. As a student I was given the freedom and the responsibility to seek out learning opportunities in working with all of the child life specialists in different areas of the hospital. It helped me to clarify my interests in which hospital populations I feel most attracted and motivated to serve. I feel comfortable working with out-patient care, such as the Emergency Department, in its fluidity and flexibility within the moment of care. It lends itself towards spontaneous creativity after making perceptive observations of all of the working parts. I also appreciate building relationships with patients and their families who require long-term care within the hospital, such as the Rehabilitation Unit or Hematology and Oncology Unit. In building rapport, I can better understand the patient through their medical journey as it unfolds and I can create interventions to support their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional needs and development. In working with a specific long-term care population, it is beneficial in building communities of support with their peers to encourage strength, purpose, and resolve.
Through my continued exploration across multiple disciplines throughout the hospital, I observed and worked alongside many medical professionals. For example, I observed the work of an occupational therapist, an early intervention teacher, a music therapist, and a specialist in therapeutic recreation. I was afforded an opportunity to co-treat with a physical therapist and practice procedural support regularly with an established medical team for dressing changes. This internship allowed me to develop a larger view of the collective effort of all included in the healthcare team.
I am grateful to have worked in collaboration with such a knowledgeable, dynamic, and passionate staff that is found in the Family and Volunteer Services Department. I appreciate the enthusiasm, dedication, and professionalism of my preceptors and liaison in guiding me throughout me educational training in child life. I realize it is a field that requires professional reflection and continuous education in order to build and refresh the knowledge and skills to be competent, successful, and fulfilled. I look forward to the next step in my career towards becoming a certified child life specialist.

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