Child Life Heroes: A One-Person Show

How would you balance working in the pediatric inpatient unit and outpatient oncology clinic, teaching a pre-surgery class four days a week, and providing after-hours cerebral palsy patient support once a month? Alexandria Friesen, Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS), is doing just that as a one-person child life program at Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. I had the opportunity to ask her a bit more about her unique experiences of being the only CCLS in the hospital.

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Poseidon's Plunder Launch at Annual Child Life Conference

The 2018 Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) Annual Child Life Conference is coming up soon and we're excited to announce the release of a brand new quick distract tool there! Be one of the first to play with Poseidon's Plunder and see it come to life with augmented reality.

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Child Life Heroes: Child Life Month Feature

This Child Life Month, we hosted a nomination-based giveaway for child life specialists to nominate their colleagues and give recognition for their work. Emily Kittell, Certified Child Life Specialist at American Family Children’s Hospital, was the winning nominee. Emily’s nominator, Kristen Lawrence, spoke highly of how she has worked in a variety of different hospital settings and has impacted many patients and families, so I was excited to learn more about her role and experience as a CCLS.

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Child Life Through the Ages

Child Life Month has kicked off, and child life specialists around the country are celebrating, educating, and promoting play! This amazing profession has gotten tons of recognition lately, from exciting sponsorships to worldwide events. But where did it all begin? What are the roots of this small, yet monumental department within children’s hospitals?

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Anna KonsonComment
10 Ways To Celebrate Child Life Month

Tomorrow marks the first day of Child Life Month where hospitals around the world have the opportunity to celebrate child life specialists and the Child Life profession through education and raising awareness. This is often done through play, creativity, activities, learning opportunities, and much more. The sky’s the limit when it comes to ways to celebrate Child Life Month, so get creative and find what best suits your hospital and child life team! Your child life specialists are awesome, and this is their month. Here are some ways you can celebrate them and kickstart your Child Life Month celebrations:

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Rachel MartindaleComment
How Your Hospital Can Leverage the Power of Social Media

This Valentine’s Day, we teamed up with C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital to create something extra special for the kids. Mott gathered valentine greetings from all over the world and we brought them to life with augmented reality. Over 23,000 interactive valentines were sent from over 25 countries and included a dino, a digger, a robot, and a Michigan helmet and football that each had a SpellBound 3D experience.

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Rachel MartindaleComment
5 Augmented Reality Toys That Bring Play to a New Dimension

One of the quickest growing and developing technologies out there right now is augmented reality. It’s taking its own stage at the Consumer Electronics Show, driving new app use cases, and fashion trends. One of the things in common with most of these headlines is that they’re targeted at adults. But what about kids?

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Anna KonsonComment
5 Uses for Augmented Reality in Children's Hospitals

Over the last couple years, we've begun to see the revolutionary effects of what augmented reality (AR) can do for kids in the hospital. Augmented reality is a view of the real world with added digital information on top of it--an example of this would be Pokemon Go. When used by child life specialists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists, AR can be safe, effective, and immensely impactful for patients. Here are 5 ways AR brings the greatest value to patients, families, therapists, and hospitals:

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What's All The Buzz About Child Life?

In the last couple weeks, you may have seen in the news that New Orleans Saints’ punter Thomas Morstead raised $221,143 for Children’s Minnesota’s Child Life program and is now in the process of raising over $100,000 for Child Life programs in Louisiana. What is Child Life? And why should you want Child Life at your local hospital? Although it often doesn’t receive a lot of attention, Child Life plays a huge role for kids across the world.

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5 Ways Hospitals Are Using Experiential Design to Make Their Hospital Stays Better

More and more hospitals are focusing on the experience of a hospital visit to understand how they can help patients feel more comfortable during their stay. They are using a process called design thinking, which means they research the process of an ordinary hospital stay and use that information to curate an experience that is extraordinary. This helps patients interpret hospital situations differently, and come away feeling less fearful or frustrated.

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Anna KonsonComment
The New Pokémon Go: 10 Ways To Use Wizards Unite in Child Life

In July 2016, Pokémon Go was released and created a paradigm shift in the way that we think about gaming and its usage. Pokémon Go got people to get up, move around, go outside, and explore. It was played at weddings, at the dentist, on planes, in bathrooms… and in hospitals

Now, in 2018, the next huge wave is coming: Nintendo is launching Wizards Unite, a Harry Potter-themed game with similar gameplay to Pokémon Go.

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David NesbittComment
Child Life Heroes: "My Favorite Person In The Hospital"

Twenty years ago, the Child Life program had just launched at Providence Children’s Hospital (PCH) in El Paso, TX, but the current Child Life Specialist was about to leave the hospital for another position. As he was wrapping up his time at PCH, he asked a volunteer at the hospital named Peggy Schuster if she’d be interested in working as a Child Life Specialist. Peggy thought about it and said “OK, I’ll try it.” Little did she know how much she’d grow to love her new line of work.

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Child Life Heroes: Overcoming Challenges with Play

“It was awful. Screaming, yelling, trying to bite, kick, and punch.” Michelle watched as the boy did everything he could to escape doing his physical therapy exercises. She wasn’t sure how to help, but she needed to figure out something quickly.

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Designing Perception: Augmenting Perspectives

So, how do we design experiences for augmented reality?

The answer sounds monumental; We transform the user’s perspective of what is happening in their world at that moment.

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Anna KonsonComment
Empowering the Present Moment

Augmented reality technology can sometimes seem like a gimmick or a distraction. Here are three things that our business intern Richard Nguyen learned about how augmented reality can actually create a deeper presence emotionally for people and patients.

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Jake DerryComment
Designing Perception: Why is Design Important for Augmented Reality?

The power of augmented reality has become so encompassing that it allows us to perceive our reality in an impossible way. It lets us suspend disbelief, if just for a moment, to be absorbed into an alternate world. With augmented reality tools, we are able to see characters from entirely different worlds right in front of us. But how are we so willing to believe the unbelievable?

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Anna KonsonComment
Child Life Heroes: Serving Patients Under Pressure

One four-year-old boy and his mom will forever be grateful for Brindi Dalton. Brindi is a certified child life specialist (CCLS) at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, and one day she was visiting this little boy’s patient room.

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Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality for Child Life Teams

b As the SpellBound team talks with child life professionals around the country, we're meeting more and more teams who are trying to weigh the advantages of augmented reality (AR) versus virtual reality (VR) for their work. Which of these cutting-edge technologies are the right choice for a child life team?

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SpellBound Values: Start With Understanding

It's not about being right. It's about understanding. It's great advice for anyone attempting to solve a big, messy problem - politicians, entrepreneurs, and healthcare staff, among others. It's also a phrase I've heard often during my year working at SpellBound.

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Christina YorkComment
Mixed, virtual, augmented: the realities of therapy

There are many names out there for alternate digital realities. With all those names come even more possibilities for using these technologies for therapeutic benefit. But to understand the value of these technologies for therapists, we first need to be clear about what they are.

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Christina YorkComment