Monday, July 6, 2009

Job Description and Overview of an Average Day

This summer, Rivers students are embarking on a variety of interesting and challenging adventures, from doing community service abroad to attending prestigious music camps. Throughout the coming months, we will be periodically checking in with a handful of students to learn more about their experiences. Today, we hear from Emily Hoberman, who is working at the Children’s Hospital this summer.

This summer I am volunteering at Children's Hospital in Boston for two days each week, Tuesday and Wednesday. I work for the Child Life Specialist, and have a variety of jobs on the floor such as holding and rocking babies to sleep and playing with young kids in the playroom. The floor is for children ranging from babies that are just ten days old to kids that are seven years old. While doing a job such as rocking a baby to sleep may seem easy and relaxing, it is actually the opposite, and can be emotionally draining. The kids are very sick, and generally come right from surgery. Although it can be tiring, it is a job that I truly enjoy doing, as it is comforting to see a baby fall asleep in your arms and watch a young child play with toys such as Playdough and baby dolls.

An average day at work consists of arriving in Boston by 9 :00 AM, and cleaning the floor's playroom and dirty toys for about 30 minutes. During the next four hours, I will usually hold three to four babies for approximately one hour each. After taking a quick lunch break, I come back to the playroom by 2 :00 PM, and work on an art project that the Child Life Specialist needs help with (e.g., painting the babies' feet, and putting the prints on paper to make July 4th cards.) After this, and for the last two hours, I will either hold more babies or play with the older children. Playing with the children who are between three and seven years old can be difficult, as they easily lose interest in the activities that they are engaged in. I usually walk around the floor with them, read them books, or do an art project with them. I have worked for three weeks on this floor, and am loving everything about it!

-Emily Hoberman

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