Learn How Child Life Specialists Ease The Hospital Experience

Having Child Life Specialists in the hospital can help improve the patient’s experience by making sure that it’s less traumatic. We’re here to make sure that the children are comfortable or lessening their anxiety their fears their stress. I always start my interventions that there’s not going to be any secrets so no matter what we do you and I are going to talk about it. My day is different every single day. You never know what you’re going to come into but I know that every day we’re making an impact on children. We see children birth to 17 years old and so you need to know those developmental stages so that you can actually assess the child for what they are, maybe what they’re needing in the hospital. I actually recently started a program in same-day surgery so I’m there on Wednesdays and I get to help the kids come in and we prepare for procedures and then we also just started a same-day surgery tour program so they can schedule to or prior to their surgery. Usually they respond super well they’re super excited to see the OR because they can see it in TV shows and they hear things maybe from friends. We have a pretty stringent requirements to get into the profession but I think outside of that education you also need to be a big kid yourself and like to be able to play. We are taking care of a parent’s most important possession and therefore we’re going to treat that child like it is that parent’s most importance possession. Child life is an asset to doctors and nurses. Sometimes it’s easier for the child to tell the Child Life Specialist some things and we are like a patient advocate. They’ve had to use less sedation medicines which is amazing because the child’s able to use their coping skills that the Child Life Specialists are providing with them and practicing and use them to get through the procedure. I was able to prepare a patient for her port. She was going to be having a port put in place and she was very nervous about it and so she was going to be having a G button placed too. I was able to give her a doll the doll had a G button and so we just got to talk about it and I got to teacher her and then she got to use her doll to play with the G button, see where the port was going to be placed, and now to this day anytime she admitted she actually starts IVs on her doll. They’re in and out of the hospital a lot. Just giving them something different to do when they’re here that they haven’t done before is kind of exciting. We spend a lot of time getting to know their family, their siblings, them, and it’s just almost like a family aspect, we are just a second family to them. I love the kids. Every day is a different day. Every child is different. Children are so different when they are in the hospital than other places because they’re not feeling well and they’re just vulnerable but also so resilient.

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