Child life specialists can understand the stress, anxiety and fear that kids feel during a hospitalization. Having strangers enter their room 24/7, asking questions, touching their body and sometimes causing pain and discomfort, makes it that much more difficult for kids to build trust with these adults.
Offering activities that strengthen advocacy skills and builds the bridge in communication with medical team members, will provide them with a sense of control during their hospital experience. I am excited to introduce you to Hannah Doty, the founder of V.I.P. Hospital Productions, who has created a unique tool to help empower kids.
V.I.P. Hospital Productions is an organization that designs specialty activity books and movies to help kids and teens interact with their medical team—and have FUN doing it!
As a child diagnosed with cancer, I spent a lot of time in the hospital. I used my interest in creative activities to occupy my time and began to ask medical team members to look at my drawings, sign my scrapbook and take pictures with me. I discovered when I initiated these fun interactions, I felt more in control of my situation and was less anxious about meeting new doctors and nurses.
As I grew older, I knew I wanted to create something to help kids have the best hospital experiences possible.
I went on to study theatre in college and developed an interest in using the arts to help people connect and communicate. There are many tools important to me as an artist and performer that I believed could be used in a medical setting. For example: Actors use warm up exercises to build a foundation of trust so that they can be receptive to listening and responding to each other during a performance. When I reflected back on my patient experience, I realized that this “warm-up” element is often missing and overlooked when it comes to pediatric patients in the hospital and the many medical personal they encounter daily.
There were times during my treatment that I remember lying to doctors about what hurt me or didn’t want to cooperate during a procedure. I wondered how differently certain experiences would have been for me if an interaction with a new doctor had begun with finding out something as simple as his favorite color or that we both liked the same Disney movie.
In 2014, I founded V.I.P. Hospital Productions to help other kids and their medical teams interact easily. I designed these specialized activity books based on the type of resource I wish I would have had available to use.
I believe as kids and teens feel empowered to ask questions and connect in a fun way with the medical personnel around them, the trust that is built helps them honestly communicate their health needs, go through treatment/procedures with less anxiety, and leads to an improved hospital experience for patients, family and caregivers alike.
These specialized activity books are available for individual purchase on our website, www.viphospitalproductions.org. Child Life professionals and other medical personnel should email us to receive quantity discounts or ask about piloting the books in their facilities. Information about our movies can also be found on our webpage.
We will be giving away a copy of the Star Treatment Books to one lucky winner.
Choose one or more ways to enter:
1. Sign up for email notifications at Child Life Mommy and leave a comment below
2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and leave a comment on the post
3. Facebook: Follow VIP Hospital Productions and leave a comment about the giveaway
4. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy and @VIPHospitalProd
5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy, Like and tag a friend in the post
Good Luck! Winner will be chosen 6/14/15, shipped to US and Canada residents only.