Speak Now For Kids: Meet Jenna, Certified Child Life Specialist
Jenna Simpson is a child life specialist at Children's Mercy Kansas City and has spearheaded innovative interventions to help patients living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) stay healthy and feel more like other kids.
Children with CF can be hospitalized for a week or two at a time when being treated for chronic issues associated with the genetic lung disease. Many inpatients are on nephrotoxic medications and need to manage fluid intake to prevent the risk of acute kidney injury. Jenna worked with Children’s Mercy pharmacists and dieticians to create fluid and drinking charts to help patients visually monitor daily intake.
Child Life regularly uses incentive and sticker charts, but Jenna took things to the next level. She knew the charts had to be interactive, engaging and fun to motivate the kids to keep track of fluid intake throughout the day. Some charts involve coloring, while others have removable Velcro pieces to mark how many ounces have been consumed. The one thing they all have in common is each and every chart is personalized. Jenna sometimes surprises kids with her designs, but most of the time she lets the kids choose what they want. She gets requests for sports teams, the different seasons, family pets (which has included a ferret) and Justin Bieber.
The best thing about the charts—they work. During a six month period, every single patient that used one of her fluid charts stayed hydrated and did NOT develop acute kidney injury! A lot of families say they use the chart at home too, which helps promote good fluid intake beyond the hospital stay.
Read the full article via Speak Now For Kids
Learn more about Child Life at Children's Mercy