Hospitalization and illness are stressful moments in the lives of children, adolescents and their families. Child Life specialists are trained professionals who work as a part of the medical team to promote child development, positive learning and mastery over these challenging events. Services provided include:
- Offer opportunities for play and expressive activities to normalize the environment and encourage normal development
- Prepare children for medical procedures, surgery, diagnoses and treatment using language that children understand
- Introduce coping strategies to help reduce anxiety and enhance cooperation with the health care team
- Provide support and distraction during medical procedures
- Promote family-centered care by providing information, advocacy and support to families of pediatric patients
- Provide bereavement support to families
Each child life specialist holds a bachelor or master degree in child development, psychology or a related area. Furthermore, all child life specialists have completed a child life internship in the hospital setting and are professionally certified through the national Child Life Council. Areas staffed:
- General pediatric floor
- Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
- Pediatric Ambulatory Surgery Unit/Pediatric Pre-op
- Pediatric sedation
- Pediatric dialysis
- Pediatric emergency department
- Consults in NICU and adult units
Volunteering with Pediatrics
We are always in need of enthusiastic volunteers who want to work with children in the hospital. For information on volunteering please contact our guest services department at (316) 962-2100.
Child Life Internship Program
The child life internship program offers internships two times a year. The spring internship takes place from January to May, and the fall internship takes place from September to December.
Contacting the Child Life Department
If you would like to talk with a child life specialist or discuss our services you can call the child life office at (316) 962-2177.