As Child Life Week nears a close, we want to introduce you to Kirsten Granberg, one of our child life specialists, in this edition of Five Question Friday.
What is your job at Children’s? Describe your role.
I am a child life specialist that works in Sedation and Procedural Services (SPS) at Children’s – Minneapolis. My role in this department is to provide developmentally appropriate education and procedural support to patients needing some type of sedation (or no sedation, if applicable), and hopefully help minimize their stress and increase their understanding of their medical experience. I work directly with the patient and family to find out how I can best offer support for his or her procedure, whether it be with the use of distraction (iSpy or sound books, iPad, guided imagery, bubbles, etc.) or parental coaching. The staff and I work closely to determine how we can all support the child and family in the best possible way as one cohesive team, and hopefully have the patient’s and family’s experience be a positive one.
How long have you worked at Children’s?
I have been at Children’s for two years. When I was hired, I worked as casual staff and at a contracted emergency department in Plymouth. I began working in SPS in fall 2014 when the Child Life position was created.
What do you love most about your job?
There are many aspects that I love about my job, but the one that always makes my heart happy is when I have the chance to do medical play with a patient before a procedure or scan. I love having a variety of medical items all over the floor where the child has the time to explore and manipulate the materials, ask questions and hopefully make sense of what is going to happen. Play is the universal language for children, so by incorporating something they are familiar with and tying in the medical aspect, children begin to gain mastery and a sense of control over the situation. How empowering for the child!
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher, nurse or veterinarian. All my dolls and stuffed animals had many visits to the “hospital,” where I would treat them and nurse them back to health. We went through lots of Band-Aids in my house. One of my favorite gifts was getting a cast and crutches for my doll!
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I probably shouldn’t admit that I watch way too much Netflix, so besides that, I love activities outdoors, singing in my car, finding new restaurants, attending different sports events and cheering for my beloved Green Bay Packers!