The health care environment can bring about many new and sometimes stressful experiences for both children and families. As part of the hospital team, our child life specialists are here to support children and families through this experience. Certified child life specialists (CCLS) have college degrees in areas similar to child development, psychology, education or therapeutic recreation. A CCLS combines play with education to explain medical procedures and provide therapeutic opportuni¬ties to explore the hospital environment.
How Can Child Life Specialists Support Your Family During a Hospital Experience?
Minimize fear and stress experienced by children, teens and their families throughout their hospital experiences
Support the patient's emotional, social and cognitive growth in the context of his or her family, culture and developmental stage
Encourage developmentally appropriate therapeutic play activities
Engage and energize children and families by coordinating special events, entertainment and activities
Encourage understanding and cooperation by preparing children for medical procedures and diagnoses using developmentally specific language and teaching tools
Offer pre-procedural tours (radiology and surgery) to help patients and families become more familiar with the hospital setting
Assist patients and families in emergency situations and unplanned visits to the hospital
Provide support for families and siblings who may be affected by a diagnosis, illness, trauma or grief
Support parents and caregivers by encouraging their participation in their child's health care
Provide education and resources for parents and family members