When you’re in the thick of a hospital journey or visit, even the simplest tasks can leave you feeling disheartened. Suddenly, finding parking, getting food, asking questions, and preparing for the next visit can become overwhelming and daunting.
But there are extraordinary professionals out there whose entire career revolves around guiding, comforting, and empowering parents and children during their hospital visits and stays. My guest today, Amy Carter, is one of those amazing people.
Amy Carter has been a Child Life Specialist for almost 24 years and works closely with an incredible team at the UChicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital. Their ultimate goal is to support children and families in all areas of the medical center, from clinic visits to procedure areas, emergency interventions, and in-patient stays like the NICU.
They do everything in their power to reduce the anxiety surrounding the time spent in the hospital and care for the emotional well-being of both the caregivers and the children.
Today, she’s sharing with us some wonderful advice to empower families in their hospital journey: from teaching children what to expect from their procedures in developmentally appropriate ways to teaching parents how to play a more active role in their child’s care.
Amy also shares fantastic ways to prepare for foreseen and unforeseen hospital visits, some great tricks to make your stay more pleasant, and how to help loved ones going through those journeys.
Whether your hospital has Child Life Specialists that you can ask for, or you have to seek this guidance more directly, this episode is a great resource to share with anyone who may need it.
Key Takeaways with Amy Carter
- Tips on reducing anxiety and maintaining your emotional wellbeing during hospital visits.
- Developmentally appropriate ways to prepare children for visits or procedures.
- How to ask the right questions and get more involved in your child’s care.
- Amy’s advice for preparing for both foreseen and unforeseen hospital trips.
- The different professionals you’ll run into during your hospital visit and their roles.
- Insider tips for families at Comer Children’s Hospital for parking and food options.
Amy Carter Tweetables
- “There is nothing more important than making an assessment and really being able to figure out what a family needs and helping them feel comfortable with where they are at information-wise. Wherever that is, it is okay.” – Amy Carter
- “Ultimately parents know their children best: they know how their child is managing a medical experience better than anybody else. We want them to feel that they can be partners in their care.” – Amy Carter
- Comer Children’s Hospital’s Child Life & Family Education Program
- Support Comer Children’s Hospital
- Comer Children’s Hospital Donation Wish List
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