|Janet L. Kwiatkowski, MD|
|Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Division of Oncology|
| Last Modified: November 1, 2001
The Starbright Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children with serious illnesses cope with their medical and psychosocial challenges. One of the Foundation's projects is the creation of the "Videos with Attitude" series. These videos are particularly targeted to teenagers with chronic medical conditions who face the unique challenges of maintaining independence and transitioning from childhood to adulthood while simultaneously coping with serious illnesses. The videos feature teens talking openly with each other about their feelings, questions, and concerns.
"Plastic Eggs or Something? Cracking Hospital Life" addresses teenagers' feelings about the frustrations of a hospital stay. The adolescent patients lament about the hospital gowns, the food, the noisy environment, roommates, and blood draws. They discuss their concerns about a lack of privacy and being awoken in the middle of the night for procedures. The teens also give each other advice about optimizing their visit. One patient offers a new role for IV poles: a method of transportation. Another suggests bringing in items from home to make the hospital room a more familiar, comfortable place.
"Plastic Eggs or Something?" helps teenage patients realize that others share their feelings about the problems of extended hospital stays. It is a useful tool to encourage adolescent patients to explore and discuss these concerns. The video does not explain to the teenage patient the medical reasons for procedures or interruptions. However, it does provide a forum for teenagers to express their frustrations with a lack of control over certain aspects of prolonged hospitalizations. This video is highly recommended by OncoLink.