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LAGUARDIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK PRACTICAL NURSING PROGRAM SCL 116: PEDIATRIC NURSING My community outreach organization visit to: by Marie Jimenez SCL 116: Pediatric Nursing Fall I 2007 Professor Griffiths Image courtesy of: childcenterny.org COMMUNITY OUTREACH ASSIGNMENT The community outreach facility and organization for children and adolescents that I visited on November 21, 2007 is called The Child Center of New York which has many subdivisions and locations throughout the borough of Queens, NY. The specific location that I visited was the South Jamaica Clinic located at 115-15 Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica, NY. I was interested in visiting this facility because of their Intensive Outpatient Program that provides “intensive after-school program, counseling, remediation, recreation, and parental support for emotionally disturbed children and their families”(The Child Center of NY, 2007). In addition, I believe that it is important that there are centers that provide services for children who have emotional and behavioral problems because children with these problems need support and guidance in order to reach their full potential. PURPOSE & HISTORY OF THE FACILITY Formerly called, “The Queens Guidance Center”, The Child Center of NY is a non-profit organization that formed in 1953. According to the center’s mission statement, their vision for children is for them to “grow up to feel loved, secure and self-confident; to succeed in school and later work; and to have the sensitivity to be effective citizens of the world community”(The Child Center of NY, 2007). DESCRIPTION OF THE FACILITY During my visit to the South Jamaica Clinic, I found out that this facility targets children and adolescents ranging from 3 to 17 years of age. I learned that this facility offers different types of services, but mainly providing one to one counseling. However, I was intrigued that this facility also provides play therapy. According to Leifer, play therapy “is used for the child under stress. A well-equipped playroom is provided…[where] the therapist obtains a better understanding of the patient’s struggles, fears, resentments, and feelings toward self and others”(Leifer, 2007, p. 426). Upon my visit to the clinic, I noticed a blackboard with chalk in the waiting area for parents and their children. The blackboard looked frightening and disturbing with scratch marks and eerie circular drawings made from chalk. After learning about play therapy, I realize that the blackboard was a tool for children to express their feelings, emotions, and an outlet in releasing their aggression. FACILITY IMPACT ON COMMUNITY I believe that this facility has a definite impact on the community because it provides a place where children with mental health problems have an opportunity to cope with their disorders. Without such a facility, it would be difficult to find a place for dealing with emotional and behavioral problems. The location of the facility is under Community District 12 of the borough of Queens, where statistics indicate that about a third of the population in this community are under the age of 18 years of age (New York City Department of City Planning, 2006). This statistic plays a role in determining the potential needs of children with mental health disorders because nurses can raise awareness to target those who need services under this age group. ASPECT OF PEDIATRIC NURSING REPRESENTED IN THIS SERVICE Based on Leifer (2007), and over the course of learning about pediatric nursing this semester, the aspect of pediatric nursing represented in this service is the developmental phases of the toddler, pre-school child, school-age child, and the adolescent. Knowledge of the theories from Freud, Piaget, Sullivan, and Erikson are important because it serves as a basis for understanding the deviations of normal psychological development of the child. ROLE OF THE LPN The role of the LPN, in reference to the psychological development of the child, is important in providing interdisciplinary care for the child because nurses become facilitators in advocating the needs of the child. The importance of play therapy is significant because nurses use play therapy as a basis for providing optimum mental healthcare. According to Leifer, “Play therapy is an important part of every pediatric nursing care plan. It is not necessary to be an expert in manual dexterity, art, or music; rather, one must understand the needs of the child”(Leifer, 2007, p. 424). Therefore, in understanding the needs of the child, it is important for the nurse to develop effective communication skills so that appropriate therapy and treatment can take place. PERSONAL CRITIQUE As a future Licensed Practical Nurse, I would highly recommend this facility to parents of whom their children need professional mental health care. This facility offers counseling, recreation and therapy such as play therapy for toddlers, pre-schoolers, and the school-age child. This facility also has highly qualified trained staff in providing quality care to these children. In addition, this facility is located one block of a health clinic, a division of the St. Vincent’s Medical Center. This is beneficial for those families that need referrals for their children to a mental health facility. REFERENCES Leifer, G. (2007). Introduction to Maternity & Pediatric Nursing. St. Louis: Mosby, 424, 426. New York City Department of City Planning. (2006, December). Queens Community District 12. Retrieved November 21, 2007, from the World Wide Web: http://www.nyc.gov/html dcp/pdf/lucds/qn12profile.pdf. The Child Center of New York. (2005). Retrieved November 21, 2007, from the World Wide Web: http://www.childcenterny.org.
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