Caring for a hospitalized child or teenager can feel like a scary and overwhelming experience, but being the hospitalized child or teenager can truly make you feel like you’re missing out on real-world experiences.
Thankfully, there are wonderful people who are making a difference to create fun experiences for these families. I’m thrilled to introduce you to today’s guest, George Hardin, as he shares all the wonderful work he does with hospitalized children and teenagers.
From hosting music festivals to bringing in therapy dogs, making stuffed animals, discussing sneaker styles, and much more, George truly exudes care, compassion, and joy in his work.
George is currently the manager of volunteer services and in-kind donations at La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago and has previously worked at Lurie Children’s Hospital in a similar role. He has extensive experience in bringing joy and comprehensive family care to families all over Chicago and to his two little girls.
George shares some wonderful tips on supporting the patient and the family as they navigate hospitalizations. He offers advice on how to be of service to a family in need, and he brings a new perspective to asking doctors questions and staying informed. He also reminds us that supporting children goes beyond medical support, as the social and emotional aspects are just as important.
George’s work is an excellent example of how easy it can be to bring a much-needed smile to someone’s face and how giving back, and volunteering can be a powerful and gratifying experience. I hope this episode brings you joy, inspiration, and motivation to make a difference to those who need it in your community.
Key Takeaways with George Hardin
- The power of volunteer work and how you can make a difference.
- How George brings joy into the lives of hospitalized children.
- Providing mental health resources for children, teens, and young adults as outpatients.
- Comprehensive family care that also supports siblings and parents of hospitalized children.
- How to support as a family member: asking what the family needs and how to help.
- George’s perspective on how to ask your doctors questions when you feel unsure or unclear.
- The importance of talking to hospitalized children about their interests, as they can get tired of only dealing with medical staff.
George Hardin Tweetables
- “We are all about complex, comprehensive care. Not only are we invested in what is going on in the patient’s room and their treatment, but we also want to know how this affects the parents, the other siblings, and how we can help them work through this entire hospitalization.” – George Hardin
- “If you are unsure about something or you’re unclear, ask. Don’t feel ashamed, and don’t feel like you’re incompetent.” – George Hardin
- “I’ve had to remind staff that just as much as this is intimidating for the patient, it is intimidating for the parents.” – George Hardin
- “After a while, children get tired of dealing with people in the medical field. They want someone to talk about sports, music, fashion, life, and what’s going on down the street.” – George Hardin
- Volunteer at La Rabida Children’s Hospital
- Donate to La Rabida Children’s Hospital
- Contact George Hardin at firstname.lastname@example.org
- How Do Certified Child Life Specialists Help?
- George Hardin’s Work: La Rabida Introduces a New Therapy Dog Program for the Outpatient Clinic
- George Hardin’s Work: La Rabida Children’s Hospital patients treated to holiday gifts, make stuffed animals
- Tips to help your child cope with hospitalization
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