MagicAid got its start with medical students. MagicAid co-founder, David Elkin, used his experience as a professional magician to train fellow classmates in providing magic therapy to pediatric patients. Since then, MagicAid has flourished as a student service organization. Trained students provide "magic rounds," spending roughly an hour a week on an inpatient pediatric floor, in the Emergency Department, or at pediatric cancer units where they help alleviate the stressors of the hospital experience by engaging pediatric patients using the wonder of magic. As each new class year begins, interested students have the opportunity to grow from novice magicians, to magic mentors, to executive board members - ensuring the organization is passed on each year.
In addition to the laughter MagicAid members provide, this is also an experience for the students to learn. As the first patient encounters for many medical students, MagicAid teaches burgeoning healthcare providers to practice compassion, empathy, and effective communication with patients and their families.
If you're a student looking to found a MagicAid chapter, or a faculty member looking to bring a new student service organization to your campus, let us know! MagicAid trainers will provide all the necessary training and help you develop a program to meet the needs of your school and patient population. For medical student groups, training is provided free-of-charge.
At MagicAid, we believe no single team member is more in tune with the psychosocial and emotional needs of the pediatric patient in the hospital setting than the Child Life Specialist. Child Life Specialists are crucial to helping patients and families cope, while also addressing the unique developmental needs of the patient. The MagicAid repertoire has been developed to cover audiences as young as 3 or 4 years all the way up to emerging adults in their early 20s. Because the goal of MagicAid is to build the patient relationship, promote patient empowerment, and reduce anxiety, it is only natural that many of the MagicAid techniques reinforce Child Life concepts. The very nature of magic encourages imaginative play and exploration. Magicians become skilled in misdirection - adding to the Child Life Specialist's distraction or destigmatization techniques. And, because most MagicAid tricks can be taught to patients at the bedside, they can be left with a prop that will increase goal-directed activity, develop fine and gross motor skills, while fostering the patient's sense of mastery and industry.
MagicAid training for the Child life Specialist makes a world of sense when considered in the context of a normal workday. We view MagicAid as a therapeutic intervention, but one that can be immediately available to the trained specialist. It doesn't require bringing in outside talent, can be performed at a moment's notice, is tailored to specific patient needs based on the Child Life Specialist's assessment and experience, all with a very low cost of implementation. If you're interested in learning MagicAid as another therapeutic intervention in your department's toolbox, let us know by sending a message below!
While MagicAid began as a service group for medical students, its usefulness on the floors was quickly realized by the entire healthcare team. MagicAid not only works to help reduce the patient's anxiety, but also provides many benefits to the healthcare provider.
MagicAid helps break down barriers, builds strong patient relationships, reinforces empathy, and reduces anxiety for both the patient and the caregiver! With just a little practice, MagicAid providers have a set of tools that can help to foster a fun and friendly environment that makes the patient experience just a little more personal, and a little less clinical.