Inpatient Units

Photo of staff member and patient

Child Life Specialists provide services on all inpatient pediatric units, including the pediatric ICU. Inpatient Child Life services consist of the following:

  • Help Promote Adjustment to the Healthcare Environment: by providing an introduction to hospital and discuss what to expect during their hospital stay. Child life assists in normalizing the environment by making it more family friendly.
  • Promote Play and developmental milestones: Encourage opportunities for play and self-expression to help patients of all ages cope with hospitalization by normalizing the hospital environment.
  • Medical Play: Allow children to use and play with medical equipment in order to become more familiar with medical supplies and increase understanding of their hospital experience.
  • Therapeutic Activities: Use play to express as a tool to help assist children to express their feelings about hospitalization especially their fears about their medical experiences.
  • New Diagnosis Teaching: Use teaching dolls, medical equipment and age-appropriate language to assist patients and their families in understanding medical terminology and diagnoses.
  • Procedure Support: Teach patients about upcoming procedures by using developmentally appropriate language. Provide developmentally-appropriate items for distraction during procedures.
  • Playrooms: The playrooms are open 24-hours and are designed to help meet children’s developmental milestones during their hospitalization. Patients, siblings, and families are allowed to visit the playroom at any time during their visit unless told otherwise.

Emergency Department

  • Procedure Support: Teach patients about upcoming procedures by using developmentally appropriate language. Provide developmentally-appropriate items for distraction during procedures.
  • Medical Play: Allow children to use and play with medical equipment in order to become more familiar with medical supplies and increase understanding of their hospital experience.
  • Support During Trauma Situations: Provide updates to families while advocating for the patient and family during trauma exam and procedures afterwards.
  • Preparation for the Operating Room (OR): Provide age-appropriate explanations of what patients and families can expect during surgery. During preparation patients and their families are shown pictures and medical equipment that the child will see for their surgery.

Same Day Surgery

Child life same-day services include the following:

  • Preparation for the Operating Room (OR): Provide age-appropriate explanations of what patients and families can expect during surgery. During preparation patients and their families are shown pictures and actual medical equipment that the child will see for their surgery.
  • Support: Help patients and families make coping plans to use during induction of anesthesia and provide distraction activities during anesthesia induction to ease anxiety to promote a positive OR experience.

*Please check out our Pre-surgical tour for scheduled surgeries  that is held on most Saturdays! 

Service Parent