Child Life Department Staff

Staff members of the Child Life Program are caring professionals who assess the specific needs of children anticipating a hospital stay. They develop and implement individual and group activities to help make each child’s hospital stay as pleasant as possible. 

Child Life Specialists and Child Life Assistants work together as a team to support our patients and their families. Here’s a closer look at what they do:

Child Life Specialist

  • Provides emotional support to children and their families.
  • Prepares children and families for health care experiences (admission, medical and surgical procedures).
  • Assesses children’s development and behavior.
  • Provides opportunities for normal play activities and therapeutic medical play interactions.
  • Teaches stress point coping techniques (diversion, distraction, relaxation) to help reduce stress and anxiety and suggests positive coping ideas during intrusive procedures.
  • Gives information regarding sibling support.
  • Discusses bereavement and related issues when appropriate.

Child Life Assistant

  • Implements age-appropriate individualized and group activities in coordination with a Child Life Specialist.
  • Supports the psychosocial and developmental needs of children and their families in coordination with a Child Life Specialist.
  • Escorts and acts as a hospital representative for entertainers and special guests.
  • Processes toy donations.

Music Therapists

  • Provide therapeutic music to help patients cope with procedures, pain and anxiety.
  • Design musical opportunities for development of creativity, self-expression, self-esteem, and enjoyment.
  • Provide soothing music to encourage relaxation.
  • Support the grief and bereavement processes with culturally and spiritually sensitive music.

Art Therapists

  • Provide therapeutic art to help patients cope with procedures, pain, and anxiety.
  • Provide art opportunities for development of creativity, self-expression, self-esteem, and enjoyment.
  • Support the grief process and bereavement processes through the creation of art.
  • Employ traditional counseling principles to give kids and their loved ones the chance to use creative expression.

Emergency Department

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.

Critical Care Areas

Child Life and Music Therapy also provide assistance to children and families in the critical care areas. Along with providing patient support, our staff can support siblings when visiting a brother or sister in the Intensive Care Units (NICU, PICU, and CICU).

Child Life and Music Therapy regularly work with the multidisciplinary care teams to provide bereavement support to the whole family when appropriate.