Every year on Halloween the Children’s Hospital coordinates a celebration for hospitalized children. The children get dressed up in costumes and participate in a Halloween parade and trick-or-treating.
The week before Halloween, Carol Berman was discussing the event with one of her patient’s parents. The patient was a 15-month-old girl with Down Syndrome and Acute Myeloid Leukemia who was currently hospitalized for her final round of chemotherapy. However, her parents were informed later that day that she was being discharged before the festivities. When Carol heard the news, she developed a plan to create a trick or treat experience the next day for the patient and other children who might miss out on the festivities.
Carol purchased candy and Play-Doh and incorporated Child Life to provide fun Halloween bags for all the children. She assigned stations throughout the unit and decorated with Halloween signs. She thought it would be fun if the children could knock on the doors, just like they would for a neighborhood trick-or-treat. All the nurses and PCAs were assigned specific rooms to hand out candy. All of the patients, families, and staff had a wonderful time.