uvahealthChild life specialist Suzan Watkinson uses dolls to demonstrate to kids what will happen when they get an IV. The kids then get to keep and decorate the dolls, which are donated by volunteers.
Child life specialists help kids cope with medical care by using kid-friendly language, play and distraction techniques. Suzan is the first person with this role in our radiology & imaging department. She created our HOOS (Holding Off on Sedation) program, which empowers kids five years old and up to get through an MRI without sedation.
She’s also been in the parent’s shoes — her own daughter has a chronic illness and has endured many surgeries, procedures and hospitalizations. Unfortunately, Suzan will be leaving UVA at the end of this month to join her family in northern Virginia. We will be looking for another child life specialist for radiology.