Working on the oncology floor differs from the acute care floor as I have been working with the same students all week. One student who is a character, hilarious and catches everything, made a mortar board and graduation gown today. Graduation at the hospital is on the oncology floor for children who have been in the hospital for a duration of time in the last year, to come back and graduate to the next grade. The graduation engulfs the ward as stations are setup for students to parade around to the graduation song and receive presents.
Patient interactions remain the highlight of my time at DCH. On the oncology and hematology floor the students’ stay in the hospital is much longer than kids on the acute care floor, allowing relationships to grow and for teachers to see the progress the students make. I’ve worked with four students, some new and some I have worked with previously.
My oncology and hematology classroom experience began today. The atmosphere upstairs is much different than below. The oncology and hematology floor at DCH has an outpatient clinic attached that is for all cancer and blood patients, especially patients receiving chemotherapy. In addition to the clinic since the floor is much more focused on particular illnesses, the environment is different than the acute care floor. Recently staff members shaved their head in honor of the patients.
I sat in the freshly sanitized classroom in the miniscule chairs waiting for students to come through the door in all different conditions. One student came through with an IV pole and a huge smile. “Hi, how are you today?” I asked as I knelt down to their level.
“I’m good, do you have any cars?”
“Yeah we do, but you are going to have to built it, but I’ll help you out.”
During my time at DCH as cliché as this may sound, everyday poses new challenges and learning opportunities in teaching and medicine. Today I met new students, who I will hopefully have a chance to work more with consistently with in the next couple weeks. The connections between the physicians, nurses, social workers, hospital schoolteachers and schoolteachers is a vital part of the care at DCH for patients and students. In this blog I will outline some of the accommodations that occur once children return to their school after being discharged from the hospital.
Today I was faced with new opportunities and situations that tested my ability to find alternative ways to teach students material and engage with the student. Until today I have been working with students who have also been patients at Doernbecher Children's Hospital (DCH). Although a new day brings other challenges and circumstances. To change it up today I worked with the sibling of a patient, instead of the patients themselves.
The final days of my week have been overwhelming. I began the project and completed more office work, although once my confidence escalated and my relationship developed with the teachers I have been given more autonomy to teach the students in the Hospital School and work in hospital rooms with students. The breadth of information available at Dornbecher is staggering, and through this project I have been able to begin to take advantage of the other opportunities in the hospital outside the Hospital School.
My first day, was a day of firsts. The identical hallways that line the interior of the hospital made it feel as though I was within a labrinth. The classroom for the Hospital School Program at Dornbecher is in the acute care section of the hospital and is a single classroom. Patients mainly come to the acute care floor recovering from appendicitis, broken bones, eating disorders, MRSA, Cystic Fibrosis and Crones.