The most valuable thing that I have learned from this book is that Child Life Programs are essential in children’s hospitals to help ease the impending aspects of a total institution on child-patients. The last chapter of the text, entitled “Some Proposed Changes,” recognizes that child life specialists (CLS) are used to help ease the child-patient’s unhappiness in an institution that is not child friendly, educate patients about their time in the hospital, and reassure any misconceptions the child-patient has (Beuf, 1989). Specifically, providing optional activities provides a rare chance for child-patients to exert free will and choice over the total institutional environment is an important aspect of child life programs (Beuf, 1989). It was refreshing to see CLS receiving recognition. Personally, I never would have thought of a hospital as a total institution before reading this text, but it is nice to see that child life programs are able to combat the dehumanizing hospital environments for child-patients. I find that this book in its entirety is a valuable lesson; it provides first-hand observations of social situations child-patients experience in the hospital, which are not always positive, and delivers some proposed changes that can make the hospital environment better for child-patients.
5. HOW DO YOU PLAN ON IMPLEMENTING THESE CONCEPTS INTO YOUR CAREER AS A CHILD LIFE SPECIALIST?
As a CLS, I plan to take the information from this book into account and remember that the hospital is a total institution and that the sick role needs to be adjusted. I hope that as a CLS I am able to fight the dehumanization and learned helplessness associated with total institu...
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...n gaining a handle on the child-patients emotional and psychosocial status (Beuf, 1989). A better understanding of these coping strategies should be essential for pediatric healthcare team members.
Overall, there are many positives to the knowledge obtainable from this study. I have only three critiques of the work; 1. The book should be updated to reflect the twenty-first-century social situation of hospitalized children, 2. The work could have been more concise and, in my opinion, could have been a journal article rather than a book, and 3. The work draws biases from Beuf’s personal experience, and should be more focused on the experiences observed in the hospital setting. In all, I recommend this book to all healthcare professionals and believe it to be a valuable educational tool to help adult’s better treat/work with children who are undergoing hospitalization.
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