Spotlight on: Child Life Specialist, Tracey Kunj-Ramen

We recently sat down with Tracey Kunj-Ramen, the only Child Life Specialist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens, New York. She shared what it’s like to run a one-person Child Life program and how a typical day can look like.

 

She begins her day by prepping for the interdisciplinary team meeting that is held each morning in the pediatric department. Together, doctors, residents, nurses, case managers, and Tracey review each pediatric patient in the unit and discuss the best course of action for their treatment. This includes the medical, social, and mental health aspects. Tracey explained that knowing which patients will need blood work or have specific procedures done helps with planning her day, as well as what tools and resources she may want to use. From there, Tracey is running all over the hospital. “I will see my patients in the Pediatric Unit first, and then I could be called down to other departments for supplies or to prepare an anxious child for a procedure. It really depends on who comes in that day and what is needed.”
Tracey’s services extend to the Pediatric Department, Pediatric ER, which treats 25,000 patients annually, the Ambulatory Care Unit, and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. When she is not interacting with patients, she is working with various hospital staff to handle administrative tasks, including acquiring new paint for her patient’s rooms, new televisions, and more. Like many Child Life Departments, Tracey often faces challenges securing funding for things needed on her floor and for her patients, such as equipment, supplies, technology, and general upkeep. This is where enCourage Kids steps in. 

 

enCourage Kids is proud to have provided funding for the past 17 years to Jamaica Hospital for child-friendly exam tables, new infant scales, a total Pediatric Emergency Room Renovation, and other enhancements for their Child Life Department. We also send entertainers for their monthly hospital parties and provide supplies to brighten the pediatric unit.

 

We are delighted to support one-person Child Life programs and the entire Child Life Community at large.

Child Life Spotlight

Pediatric patients can experience heightened anxiety during their hospital stay and many times this anxiety can show up as something else. Child Life Specialists are trained to recognize this so they can help the child process their feelings and make their stay as comfortable as possible.

Camp is Coming!

For more than 10 summers, enCourage Kids has hosted 250 children and family members at Camp Pontiac. This annual weekend in upstate New York – a favorite among our families – gives kids and parents respite from their daily challenges, fresh air, and time to focus on family, friends, and fun.

 

“We are so grateful for the experience. We look forward to coming every year and being together again with our friends,” Milinda, enCourage Kids mom, shares. “We come here and enjoy the togetherness and meet new friends and families that have the same struggles. It helps us forget about everything that we go through on a day-to-day basis.”

 

Spending time with friends and loved ones is what our enCourage Kids’ getaway at Camp Pontiac is all about, and many of our families would not have the opportunity to travel all together without our program. At Camp Pontiac, families bond and unwind in a way they simply cannot at home. Whether through sports, arts and crafts, swimming, or making s’mores, the weekend is filled with laughter, friendship, and unforgettable memories. We cannot wait to be there again in just a few weeks!
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