Halloween in the Hospital
You know it. In fact, even I know you know it. I also know that the child inside of you is trying to deny it and convince you that you’re still a child in some respects. But it’s time to face it. Halloween isn’t about you anymore. It’s all about the kids; the REAL kids. Not the kid inside you that likes to come out and play every now and then. Don’t get me wrong. You’re more than welcome to dress up and hang out at a party. You can even scare yourself silly at some haunted house if you so please. But at the end of the day, it’s the kids who truly know how to experience that genuine Halloween thrill! Now picture this; a sick child spending Halloween in the hospital. I can wax poetic about this, but I think you get it. Pediatric nurses- you have a job! This Halloween, no child shall be left behind. And here’s how.
It’s no wonder that ‘dress-up’ is an integral part of child’s play. After all, how else do you become a superhero or princess? And when a child is stuck in the hospital facing hardships that we as adults can’t even begin to comprehend, the power of dress-up; of translating the battles they fight every day into different personas, can in fact be healing. Which is why your duty as a nurse is to allow your young patients to use their imaginations and be anything they want to be, whether it’s Superman or Queen Elsa. Will some of your patients have major skin sensitivities, mobility problems, and sensory issues? Sure. It comes along with the territory of ‘patient.’ But hey, a simple, soft cape and a wand can easily transform them into so many things. This Halloween allow them to be who they want to be. Oh, and feel free to don a Halloween themed scrub top as well.
Trick or Treat:
The most exciting aspect of Halloween for a child, is trick or treating. While your patients cannot go door to door around their respective neighborhoods, they can go door to door in the hospital. Brilliant, no?? In fact, why not make a little field trip out of it?! Take your patient from unit to unit, and aside for getting to actually experience trick or treating, the kids will get to socialize as well. Keep in mind, though, that if your patient has certain dietary restrictions, be sure that there are appropriate treats for him/her.
No holiday is complete without decorations. Decorations get everyone in the spirit and can literally lift moods and spread positive energy. Plus, it’s something that’s super easy to do and does not have to be costly at all! I’m talking Halloween themed paper, black and orange streamers and paper chains, pipe cleaner spiders, pumpkins set out all over the place and sheet ghosts. See? Easy!
So your young charges are all dressed up, they’ve gone trick or treating and now have a basketful of goodies. What next? Activity time! Art is healing, they say, so why not incorporate art into the festivities. Pumpkin decorating is obviously the way to go. All you need is a pumpkin for each patient plus some glitter glue, colorful paint, spooky stickers etc. And voila! Every patient has a unique jack-o-lantern:)
Wishing you all a spooktacular Halloween!!!