When children visit the hospital, it can be difficult for them to understand where they are, why they are there, and who all the people surrounding them are. As a healthcare system, we are extremely fortunate to have on staff pediatric navigators and child life specialists who are specially trained to help children find a sense of normalcy within the walls of the hospital. This might mean they spend time playing games with patients, or using objects from home, or encouraging family to be around; anything to reduce the stresses of the hospital experience. During Child Life Month, we celebrate these professionals.
The Parkview Catie B. Circle of Care pediatric patient navigators are a team especially familiar with the unique issues that children at the hospital face. These young patients, with serious and long-term needs, often face repeat admissions while their family deals with the general stress of having a sick child, balancing the needs of other children at home, collaborating with local schools, and navigating the healthcare system with rehab appointments, follow-up services, insurance details and more stresses. It can be, understandably, overwhelming and distracting for the parent.
Assistance from The Catie B. Circle of Care program helps families and caregivers feel less overwhelmed, and all at no cost for eligible families thanks to generosity from Parkview Foundations donors. The help provided by the pediatric patient navigators can often mean the difference between a sleepless night and peaceful rest, or a frustrated, frightened child and a smiling little patient riding around the halls in a new red wagon.
Catie B. patient navigators, children and their families …
“We connected with a family who had numerous children. For long trips required for their treatment, Mom would rent a van to transport all of the kids. Thanks to generosity, we were able to arrange van rental and a hotel for them to help ease the stress of the situation so that they could focus on the child’s healing.” – Shannon, Catie B. pediatric navigator
“Because we have relationships with our Catie B. families beyond the walls of Parkview, we are able to learn about each child and find those things that make a difference to them. For one child, we were able to use one of the wagons that were donated to us. Having his very own wagon allowed for better transitions to and from appointments and procedures here at the hospital because he had something familiar to identify with.” – Brayton, Catie B. pediatric navigator