Giving Parents a Voice: Child Life On Call Podcast

Child on Call Podcast

I am over the moon to feature an extraordinary Certified Child Life Specialist on the blog today. Katie Taylor, has taken her passion of working with parents and children from the hospital walls to the radio waves. She is empowering them to share their stories and connect with other families.

Guest Blogger, Katie Taylor founder of Child Life on Call

I was kneeling down next to a new mother in a dark pediatric intensive care room. The only light was from the sun peeking through the curtains and the monitor from the three IV pumps connected to her 3-week-old daughter. While I introduced child life services and education on ways to continue bonding with her newborn, despite their abrupt and emergent hospitalization, she said something powerful.

With tears in her eyes, she looked right at me and said, “I feel like I’m the only one in the world feeling this way. I feel so alone. So helpless. Tell me someone else has been through this before.”

It hit me like a ton of bricks. Her words lit a deep fire within me to do something more; Child Life On Call podcast was born.

I’m a huge podcast fan. Listening to them takes me to another world. Whether I’m laughing or learning something new, I leave my commutes feeling a sense of renewal. What was missing in the podcast world, I discovered, was a community for parents who feel the overwhelming emotions associated with having a child who has an illness or medical condition.

I don’t have a voice for radio, I didn’t have any of the equipment (not even a desktop computer), and I had absolutely NO clue about how to start a podcast, but I wanted to create a resource for parents and I felt podcasting was the way to do it. Parents could plug in their earbuds as their child slept in the hospital bed next to them and be transported to a community of stories and support. I had to make this happen.

Child Life on Call Podcast.jpg

One year later, the Child Life On Call podcast was published. Although the quality isn’t great and the technical errors have given me sleepless nights, the mission has been steadfast. The podcast features stories from parents of children with an illness or medical condition.

In Season 1, parents courageously describes personal and emotional experiences associated with having a child who has been through medical experiences. Season 2 will feature more stories from parents and from child life specialists currently working in the field.

Katie taylor

You can follow along with this podcast on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, through www.childlifepodcast.com, and you can listen on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn and Google Play.

My hope is that this continues to be a resource for parents as they sit in the loneliness that is hard to avoid when you have an ill child. My hope is that child life students recognize the weight of the vulnerability shared by these parents and the honor we have as child life specialists to support families. My hope is that this grows into a community that truly does support parents and families experiencing hospitalizations and illness.

Learn more about Katie and Child Life On Call from her website, at childlifepodcast.com and click  here, if you are interested in sharing a story.

Related Articles:

My Child Life Journey: Podcast Conversation

Diane’s “Adventures in Child Life”

The Celebration of Child Life Month continues….

Here is a guest blog post from Diane a child life specialist and blogger at Adventures In Child Life

xblirb

Hello! My adventure in child life began my junior year in college when my child development professor briefly mentioned the career in one of his lectures. I took note of it and googled it as soon as I got home. As I was reading the Child Life Council’s webpage I remember thinking, this is it! This is what I want to be when I grow up. I graduated with my bachelors degree for Child Development and Spanish in the Spring of 2012.

After moving back home, I began volunteering at a local children’s hospital with the child life department while also taking “Intro to child life” online taught by a child life specialist. In January 2013 I began my practicum where I really got a taste for the field and loved it more and more every day.

In September 2013, I started my internship where I learned all of the ins and outs about Child Life. I will always have a soft spot for the hospital. I completed my internship and I grew so much professionally and emotionally during my time there.

Three weeks before completing my internship, my supervisor and I had finished revising my new and improved Child Life Resume. On Saturday night (because, as you all may know, during a child life internship you are so exhausted that weekends become sleep in and stay in bed all day). I decided to apply to a child life job just for fun and to see how the application process went. The following week I got a call back from that hospital for an interview! Needless to say, the last two weeks of my internship were the two busiest weeks of my life. I was not only putting the finishing touches on assignments I had to turn in, two case studies to write, and managing my own unit, I was also preparing for a Child Life job interview!

The Monday after my internship had finished, I was offered a child life job! I am now a child life specialist working in a pediatric emergency room. I couldn’t be any happier!

I am now currently studying for the certification exam which I am taking at the end of March (I hope to get some good vibes being that I’m taking my exam during Child Life month!). I am also registered to go to conference this year which I am ecstatic about!

Go, Child Life, Go!

To learn more about Diane, you can follow her blog at Adventures in Child Life

If you have a story that you would like to share about working with a child life specialist, finding the field or how your program is celebrating, please click here