At Parkview Health, we understand that a trip to the hospital can be scary or intimidating for children. It is our goal to ease anxiety, reduce fear and pain while your child is here no matter the length of stay. Our certified child life specialists play an important role in your child’s care team at Parkview by helping children and their families cope while in the emergency room, general pediatric unit or the pediatric intensive care unit. Child life specialists use health education, therapeutic play, developmental activities, and emotional support to help minimize the stress and anxiety that can occur from having to visit the hospital.
What is a child life specialist?
A child life specialist is a trained and certified professional who works with you and your child when your child is in the hospital to deal with stress and anxiety surrounding hospitalization.
What services do child life specialists provide?
A child life specialist can help you and your child in a variety of ways, including:
- Helping your child feel more confident and comfortable in the hospital.
- Advocating for family-centered care.
- Introducing coping strategies to help reduce anxiety, manage pain and enhance cooperation with the health care team.
- Preparing your child for medical procedures or treatment using language that children understand.
- Providing support and distraction for your child during medical procedures.
- Offering opportunities for play and encouraging a sense of control over the hospital environment.
- Supporting families confronting grief and end of life care.
How do you request a child life specialist?
During your time in the ER or in-patient setting, a member of your child’s care team can connect you with a child life specialist. You can also connect with one of our child life specialists by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donate and support child life specialists
You can help the child life team meet the unique needs of the children they care for. View our specialists' wish list of items they need to support patients and their families daily throughout the hospital