In 2012, under the guidance of our supervisor Marta Benko, we conducted a research on the impact that our project has on children from the Department of Oncology and Hematology. The findings were presented at the 20th annual conference of Croatian psychologists in Dubrovnik (Psychological aspects of the modern family, marriage and partnership) in November 2012. The title of the talk was: “Stories from the hospital: Does telling and staging stories to children hospitalized at the Oncology department help? Do stories help children, and do they foster positive emotions?” We conducted the research in the Children’s Hospital at the Oncology department by presenting 16 different stories to children over a period of seven months.
The children assessed that they feel happy after our performance. Also, their parents found that the mood of their child after hearing the story compared with that before the story was better than before. The children also said that they like stories in which they can participate most, as well as those that have interesting accompanying material. We were extremely happy when we got such research results because they gave us confirmation that we were doing our job well. Even a greater confirmation is the feedback we get from parents.
THE SUPPORT OF THE PARENTS
My dear volunteers, thank you for all the nice stories all these years in the hospital. My son, when he was at the department, always, waited with joy for Tuesdays and for your arrival. Your stories are beautiful, as well as your puppets and the scenery, and the best is you and your warmth. What you are doing is so beautiful and worth every award and praise.
Always interesting and imaginative, our dear volunteers! Every time they elicit a smile from the child, but also from the parents! Big kiss from K. and mom!
Hello. I am the father of L. who is being treated at the Oncology department in Klaićeva. You know him. He says all the best about you, and I thank you from my heart for giving him his childhood back for a moment. Keep up with the good work!
THE SUPPORT OF THE DOCTORS
During our visits to the hospital, we regularly meet hardworking nurses and doctors on duty. Cooperation with them greatly facilitates the storytelling at departments. They give us all the necessary information and instructions about where, i.e. in which rooms we can perform. We also have a nice long-term cooperation with the Head of the Hematology and Oncology Institute, “Dr. Mladen Ćepulić”, at the Children’s Hospital Zagreb – Jasminka Stepan Giljević, assistant professor and PhD, who by giving her support enables a smooth implementation of this programme.
“The regular weekly visits of the volunteers on the project ‘Let me tell you a story’ have brought refreshment and joy to our department for more than four years in a row. In addition to medicine and the highest standards of health care we provide, this programme with its quality content greatly contributes to increasing the quality of life of our children during their hospitalization. Every week the performances and puppets amuse small patients to whom such a way of entertainment and game provides additional support during the treatment process.”