It’s Saturday in Chicago! Today was the last full day of this year’s Child Life Conference: the closing session wraps up at 12:30 pm tomorrow.
My day started at 7:45 am by attending a meeting of the Child Life Council’s Professional Resources Committee, which I am a new member of! It was great to connect with the other committee members and put faces to names that I’d only seen via e-mail. I continued the day by attending sessions on compassion fatigue, humanism in medicine (i.e., incorporating child life concepts into medical student curricula), and hospital sibling play areas. All three sessions were very relevant and informative: the compassion fatigue session gave great ideas on how to combat work stress, the medical session provided helpful tips for teaching students about child life, and the sibling session illustrated the significant impact that hospitalization has on the brothers and sisters of pediatric patients. (I’m so thankful that Children’s has a dedicated Sibling Play Area to support these sibs on their journeys!)
One of the most fun things about this conference has been running into past volunteers: today, I ran into former Child Life Exposure Student Maria Gaebel, who is donating her time as a conference volunteer. It was awesome to see her!
Betsy and I present our session on educating volunteers tomorrow morning from 8:30-10 am…wish us luck! Our presentation will be followed by this year’s closing ceremonies, including the presentation of the Child Life Council’s Distinguished Service Award. This ceremony will be particularly exciting, as Children’s-MN Child Life Manager Sheila Palm is receiving this award! Sheila is an amazing person & true advocate for children, so it will be wonderful to celebrate her and all that she does for child life staff and volunteers alike.
I’ll post a “final write-up” of our conference presentation when I return to the office on Monday! Until then, have a WONDERFUL Memorial Day weekend!