Our Services

Special Programs

Child Life in the Emergency Department and Critical Care Areas
Discovery: Learning About Health Care and Hospitals
Flashes of Hope
Hospital School Program
Medical-Free Activity Centers
Museum on the Move
Oncology Back-to-School
Oncology Beads of Courage®
Oncology SIBS Day
Oncology Teen Look Good...Feel Better
Pet Friends
Special Events
Starbright World
Sun ‘n Fun
Teen Lounge
 

Child Life in the Emergency Department and Critical Care Areas

A child life specialist is available in the Emergency Department to provide support and to prepare children and their families during emergency and trauma situations. Child Life also provides assistance to children and families in the critical care areas. Along with providing support, the child life specialist works with siblings to prepare them to visit a brother or sister in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and addresses bereavement issues when necessary.

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Flashes of Hope

Flashes of Hope, a non-profit organization, creates uplifting portraits of children fighting life threatening illnesses. Sessions are held once a month at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

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Discovery: Learning About Health Care and Hospitals

Discovery: Learning About Health Care and Hospitals was developed to satisfy a child’s curiosity about going to the doctor or the hospital. Discovery travels to preschools, day care centers, and grades Kindergarten through 4th grade. The children will learn about the positive aspects of hospitals and health care settings through a presentation using photographs, videos, dolls, and safe medical supplies. Discovery enhances children’s trust in health care providers and lessens their fears and misconceptions if they or a family member must be hospitalized. The Discovery Program is taught by a Children’s Hospital Child Life Specialist or nurse for groups of 10–25 children. It lasts 40–45 minutes and can be scheduled for morning or afternoon classes, Monday through Friday. Call 412-692-5022 for more information.

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Hospital School Program

While hospitalized, a child may miss a significant amount of school. So children won’t fall behind in their education, school tutoring is available for children who qualify. Your Child Life Specialist will coordinate the details for you and provide additional information.

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Medical-Free Activity Centers

Activity Centers are rooms where hospitalized children of all ages can relax in child-friendly environments. The Activity Centers are designated “medical free” zones located on patient floors where no medical discussions or procedures are allowed.

Supervised group and individualized play sessions are provided daily. Bedside activities are offered to children who are on bed rest or in isolation. Medical play sessions are facilitated by the child life specialists to help children become more comfortable with medical equipment, procedures and interventions.

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Museum on the Move

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s “Museum on the Move” program brings the museum into the hospital setting. Volunteers present programs on a variety of natural history and anthropology subjects, such as “Amazing Africa,”“Beautiful Butterflies,”“Discovering Dinosaurs,”“Pennsylvania Mammals” and “Familiar Birds of Pittsburgh.”

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Oncology Back-to-School

Cancer patients often miss a lot of school. The Back-to-School program is designed to help with the sometimes difficult transition back to the classroom. A child life specialist will visit the patient's school to educate classmates on cancer and to encourage support for the returning student. Individually tailored for each patient from grades K–12.

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Oncology Beads of Courage®

Beads of Courage® allows children with cancer to tell their story utilizing colorful beads to symbolize the courage that commemorates milestones achieved along their treatment path.

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Oncology SIBS Day

The entire family is impacted when a child or adolescent has cancer. SIBS Day is a workshop designed for the siblings, age 6–16, of cancer patients. During the four hour workshop participants will tour operating rooms, the helipad, inpatient and outpatient clinics and learn about cancer treatment.

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Oncology Teen Look Good...Feel Better

The goal of the American Cancer Society's Teen Look Good...Feel Better program is to help cancer patients, ages 13–17, with appearance-related side effects from cancer treatment. For both boys and girls, the program not only provides information on skin care, hair and makeup but also nutrition, fitness and teen social issues.

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Pet Friend Program

Research shows pet visitation programs are therapeutic because they reduce stress and anxiety caused by illness and injury. The Pet Friend program brings carefully evaluated dogs into the hospital to visit and interact with children. The program is designed to assist children in adjusting to hospitalization. Child-animal contact can vary, from a child simply watching a dog to petting, cuddling or even playing fetch and walking a dog in the hallway. Physician and parent approval is needed. See your Child Life Specialist for more information.

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Special Events

Bingo games, movies, holiday parties and occasional bedside visits by celebrities are just some of the special activities coordinated by the Child Life Program. A monthly special events calendar is posted in each activity center and around the hospital.

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Starbright World

Starbright World is a private, interactive computer network linking children at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh with other hospitalized children and teenagers across the country. Through Starbright World, these children can connect with each other and participate in various activities. They can explore special Web sites to learn more about their illnesses and the world around them. Children can even make friends with others who have a similar illness, share similar hobbies or interests, are the same age, or who live in certain locations.

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Sun ‘n Fun

Sun ‘n Fun is outdoor programming held weekly during the summer months.

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Teen Lounge

The Teen Lounge on the 8th Floor of the hospital is designed specifically for hospitalized teens age 12 and older. The lounge is a place where teens can listen to music, play video games, E-mail their friends and engage in other teenage activities.

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Last Update
May 20, 2013
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Last Update
May 20, 2013
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