If you’re new to child life or the experiences of pediatric hospitalization, you may not have met the Medikin doll. I was personally introduced to the Medikin doll a year ago, though Medikin has been around for over 15 years. The reason it’s the star of this week’s topic is because I was doing research and I thought I might share some of the information I found as well as some of my experiences using a Medikin doll.
I love working with Medikin dolls because they give the child a hands-on experience while still safely in the “play” zone. They are non-threatening to children and even adolescents (you have to present them to adolescents right, for them it’s often more of a tool that helps visualize than a character who has a story).
What’s cool about the Medikin dolls are that they work with what are called “adapters” or “overlays” which is what allows them to be very versatile. You can teach about a port access, a VCUG, and a bone marrow aspiration, all on one doll by just switching out the overlays. Personally, I love the overlays that come with a flush system. This means that, for example, the child can actually access, flush, and draw “blood” from the port. For many children, the ability to physically move the “medicine” or “blood” through the port and syringe is very therapeutic and gives them a chance to talk about how they cope with all the steps, not just the poke.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Medikin dolls and their accessories, you can check out their website. If you’ve got any questions for me about my experiences with the dolls, let me know!