What is a Child Life Specialist?
Child life specialists typically work in a health care setting providing support to children and families during their admission. The hospital can be overwhelming and scary. Child life specialists provide a sense of normalcy through play, creative expression and education. They follow a family centered care approach in their interactions with the pediatric patient as well as siblings, parents, caregivers and children of adult patients.
Specialists prepare patients for medical procedures through play, teaching dolls, visuals and using developmentally appropriate language. They also offer procedural support and teach coping strategies to help empower children and families through their experience.
Hospitals have a variety of departments that may provide a specialist. They are typically found in the inpatient units, emergency department, day surgery, pediatric intensive care unit, out-patient, psych unit and more.
To learn more about Child Life go to the website http://www.childlife.org