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  • Child Life Services

  • Child Life Specialists

  • The members of the child life staff are certified professionals who are prepared at the bachelors and masters levels in child life, child development, early childhood education, and other related fields.

    Child life services includes child life programs and the hospital school, which collaborate with one another to better serve patients' needs.

    Child life specialists provide activities that help reassure pediatric patients and their families regarding illness, hospitalization, surgery, or other procedures. They provide hands on use of play materials and actual medical equipment, and structured and unstructured educational and play experiences.

    As an integral member of the health care team, the child life specialist's role includes:

    • Preparation-to help children understand what will happen in the hospital at a developmentally appropriate level.
    • Procedural Support-to practice distraction and relaxation techniques to ease pain and enhance coping skills.
    • Medical Play-to encourage children to express fears, discuss misconceptions about the hospital and to gain a sense of control.
    • Play-to offer a positive, yet familiar experience that provides continued growth and development, as well as the opportunity for self expression.
    • Programming-to facilitate and support therapeutic activities such as creative arts, animal visiting, computers and many other programs.
    • Special Events-to coordinate birthday and holiday celebrations, in addition to visits from special guests.
    • Supervision-to train and mentor child life student interns, as well as child life volunteers.

    Child life specialists are an integral part of the interdisciplinary health care team. Their observations, interactions and assessments contribute to the development of the total patient care plan.