"Live, From The Children’s Hospital" - Andy Newman
Most children’s hospitals have child life departments. The one at Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai, the 70-bed hospital overlooking Central Park, has a full-time staff of 20 (plus two therapy dogs) and offers art, creative writing and meditation among other therapies. Much of the department’s work is aimed at normalizing life for patients who cannot leave their room. To this end, it operates a television station, KidZoneTV that broadcasts live interactive shows three times a day. For patients well enough to visit it, KidZoneTV studio can be a place of transformation. Helping sick children have fun is a demanding job. “Sometimes we have very difficult runs where we have a death or two a week,” said Diane Rode, MPS, director of the child life and creative arts therapy department at the Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai. “The potential for absorption of secondary trauma is high.” The child life workers meet regularly for reflective practice, where they process the emotions that come up when, for example, you forge a connection to a patient who does not recover.
- Diane C. Rode, MPS, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Child Life, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department, Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai