Two sick kids, one child-life specialist to the rescue
Watch child-life specialist Beth Van Buskirk, BS, CCLS, at work, and you'll see she's a child at heart — playing with puppets and making tongue depressor picture frames. But she's playing with a purpose.
"Hospital visits can be a daunting experience for kids," says Van Buskirk. "I use many techniques to make them more comfortable including therapeutic play activities. For example, I'll have kids perform mock medical tests on a puppet dressed in hospital pajamas to familiarize them with hospital equipment. I also use a distraction kit filled with toys to divert a child's attention during medical procedures."
Van Buskirk came to the rescue for Natalie Krause, who not only had a sick daughter in the PICU, but also her 4-year-old son Jagger in the emergency department with a cut on his head.
"When he arrived at the hospital, Beth immediately offered her assistance," says Krause. "She gave Jagger a Toy Story View-Master to use while the doctor treated his cut. He found the activity fun, and he didn't feel a thing."
For more information on Virtua's pediatric services, call 1-888-Virtua-3.