GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Pediatric patients and doctors and nurses gathered Tuesday for the annual Jell-O toss at the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital at Vidant Medical Center.
The event is held as part of the hospital’s Child Life Month celebrations. Child Life Month is dedicated to honoring child-life specialists and increasing awareness about their important work; they specialize in child development, adhering to a philosophy of family-centered care to ease the anxiety experienced by children and families undergoing challenging health care experiences and other major life events.
The Jell-O toss took place in the child life playroom located in the Maynard Children’s Hospital at 2 p.m.
“It is a way for our pediatric patients to see doctors and nurses as real people and help break down that fear factor,” said Susan Sugg, program manager of women’s services and children’s hospital.
The hospital says that child life specialists provide services in inpatient and outpatient units, using play, education, and self-expression to promote the patient’s well-being and development. They also explain procedures in a way that helps children and families understand the unfamiliar medical environment.
“It’s just different from going just to therapy and back to your room,” said Chelsea Corey, a patient. “It’s different, and it gets you out of your environment for a minute. ”
“Especially in time of grief and illness, I think you can still enjoy yourselves and have a fun time during the healing process,” said Dr. Edward Johnson, a pediatric hospitalist at Vidant.
The specialist are found in many different areas of hospitals, such as emergency departments, patient rooms, surgical areas, radiology, sedation and the pediatric intensive care unit. Maynard Children’s Hospital employs 12 child life specialists.