Child Life is a profession dedicated to helping children and families as they face life's most difficult challenges, particularly health and medical issues. Child life specialists are trained in human development, psychology, and education; they assist pediatric patients by engaging them in imaginative and creative play activities, while at the same time providing age-appropriate education about their unique situation and what to expect as they face that particular challenge. Child life specialists provide emotional support for patients and their parents, siblings, and extended families. They also help to educate caregivers and other adults in the child's life, as well as the public in general.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than advocating for hospitalized children and families.” Said Teresa Boeger, Director, Division of Family Centered Care at Phoenix Children’s Hospital “Whether we’re preparing kids for hospitalization and medical procedures or helping kids cope with stress and anxiety, we’re with them and empowering them through each step of their journey. “
“It is incredibly rewarding for our Foundation to be partnered with the Child Life profession.” Said Jason Grahame, Director of Teammates for Kids “We believe so heavily in what their mission is and truly believe that they don’t get anywhere near the credit they deserve for the role they play inside a Children’s Hospital. We thank all Child Life professionals for the work they do everyday”
Research has shown that children who are prepared for medical procedures experience less anxiety, because education helps to conquer the fear of the unknown. Children who engage in play throughout treatment experience less pain, suffer fewer negative physical effects, and adjust more readily to their situation. And, family and caregiver support helps to reduce overall anxiety, leading to a more positive outcome to treatment.
At Teammates, we are proud to have Child Life Specialists serving each of our Zones. This team of caring and dedicated professionals is what makes the Zones truly magical places. On a daily basis, Child Life Specialists might do everything from planning a special holiday-themed party in the Zone, to explaining an upcoming medical procedure to a chid; from challenging them to a game on the Wii, to including siblings in a craft, or offering a listening ear to a parent. During Child Life Month, we salute our Child Life team!