It’s National Child Life Week!

child life 1This week we’re celebrating our child life specialists, an invaluable part of our community. They make a difference in our patients’ and families’ lives every day here at the hospital and at our outpatient centers by making high-stress situations a little more palatable.

What is a child life specialist?, you might ask. They’re experts in child development, and they focus  decreasing the stress of the hospital experience through developmentally appropriate support, preparation and therapeutic play opportunities. They also work to help patient families understand the hospital environment. These specialists are certified by the Child Life Council after they’ve completed years of hands-on training in hospital settings.

Though there isn’t enough space here to list half of what they do day-to-day, our child life specialists mainly focus on:

  • Coping/distraction
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Procedural support
  • New diagnosis teaching
  • Adaptive play materials
  • Developmental assessments
  • Bereavement support
  • Sibling support
  • Infant massage support

 

Child life specialists Emily Rogers, MS, CCLS, and Emily Krouse, CCLS, lead patients Garrett and Hailey in a medical play group.
Child life specialists Emily Rogers, MS, CCLS, and Emily Krouse, CCLS, lead patients Garrett and Hailey in a medical play group.

We have 14 certified child life specialists in our main hospital and at our outpatient centers, always ready to lend a helping hand to patient families no matter where they’re being treated. The full Child Life team is an essential part of our care, and their work extends through several areas of the patient experience. Their members include:

  • Child life specialists
  • Activity coordinators
  • Music therapists
  • Art therapists
  • Interns

Thank you, Child Life Specialists, for everything that you do, day-in and day-out!

Do you have a child life specialist you would like to thank? Share your comments below or e-mail us at share@luriechildrens.org.

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