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Welcome to the World of Child Life


Welcome to the World of Child Life Presented By: Beth Welch, M.S., C.C.L.S. What is a Child Life Specialist? A Child Life Specialist is a trained professional who ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Welcome to the World of Child Life

Welcome to the World of Child Life
  • Presented By
  • Beth Welch, M.S., C.C.L.S.

What is a Child Life Specialist?
  • A Child Life Specialist is a trained
    professional who strives to minimize the stress
    and anxiety children and adolescents experience
    while undergoing medical treatment.

What Does a Child Life Specialist Do?
  • The Specialist employs a variety of
    interventions, including education, therapeutic
    play, family centered care, pain management
    techniques, care plans and grief interventions
    that provide opportunities to enhance the
    children's self-esteem, coping skills and

What Are the Benefits of Child Life?
  • Child life programs in health care settings
    promote optimum development of children and their
    families, to maintain normal living patterns and
    to minimize psychological trauma.

Why Do We Have Child Life?
  • Child life specialists help reduce the stress
    and anxiety that many children experience in
    hospital and healthcare settings.
  • Child life programs can reduce the stress
    experienced by children and families and enhance
    their abilities to cope effectively with and gain
    from potentially stressful situations.

When Should I Contact a Child Life Specialist?
  • When a patient is first admitted to the hospital
  • Prior to surgery
  • After surgery
  • Prior to procedures
  • Anytime a patient needs an extra bit of help or

How Do I Contact a Child Life Specialist?
  • Please contact Leslie Young (Director of Child
    Life) or John Bartelt (Professor of Education) at
    the University of La Verne, 909-593-3511. If you
    wish to reach Beth Welch (the author of this
    presentation), Leslie or John will forward your
    contact information to Beth.

Always remember.
  • It Takes More Than Just Medicine

  • Child Life Council www.childlife.org

  • Child Life in the Outpatient Surgery Center

Child Life Mission for the Outpatient Surgery
  • If the psychological self is not well, the
    physical self may never be well. Our mission is
    to help reduce the stress and anxiety caused by
    surgery, which affects the health and well-being
    of infants, toddlers, school-aged children, and
    teenagers. Because we believe illness and injury
    invokes itself on parents, outside caregivers,
    and siblings as well, they should also receive
    Child Life support. This is done through
    therapeutic play, clinical education,
    assessments, interventions, and advocacy.

Why Is It Important To Prepare Children for
  • Children need accurate, reassuring explanations
    of illness, hospitalization, surgery, or other
    procedures, presented in a manner appropriate to
    their level of understanding. Without such
    explanations, children are left to formulate
    their own, often weaving fantasies and misguided
    observations into frightening inaccuracies.
  • Child Life in Hospitals (1981) page 8

How Child Life Helps Patients and Families?
  • Child Life Interventions can help
  • Alleviate stress caused by surgery and the
  • Maintain patient growth and development
  • Maintain normalcy in child and familys lives
  • Provide a means of self expression about the
    surgery and hospital through verbal and
    non-verbal means
  • Children find ways for coping with pain and
    discomfort during medical tests
  • Children and families better understand the
    hospital and surgery process

Preparing Patients and Families for Surgery and
The Child Life Specialists Role
  • Most of the time, families do not understand
    medical terminology or medical procedures.
  • Families are often uniformed about their rights
    in the hospital and how they can be involved in
    their childs care.
  • Children need someone to help them understand
    surgery in a developmentally appropriate way.
  • Research shows that proper preparation can
    increase patient/family satisfaction of hospital

Child Life Objectives for Surgery
  • To find out what specific and unique concerns
    each patient and family has regarding the
    upcoming surgery

Child Life Interventions in Outpatient Surgery
  • Clinical Education
  • Books
  • Films
  • Pictures
  • Articles
  • Sibling Intervention Program
  • Assessments
  • Preparation Programs
  • Medical Play Therapy

Other Interventions a Child Life Specialist Might
Use in the Surgery Center
  • Distraction
  • Relaxation
  • Guided Imagery
  • Participating in Therapeutic Activities
  • Journaling
  • Activities that provide an opportunity for self
    expression of feelings (example art)

Outpatient Surgery Preparation Program
  • Pre-Surgery Tours Offer
  • Patient and family a chance to visit the
    admitting office, pre-operative area, surgery
    suite, post-op care area, and playroom.
  • An opportunity to ask questions.
  • A chance for children to see and play with
    medical equipment, encouraging the expression of
    their feelings and/or concerns about surgery.

Other Services Offered
  • Parent Support Group
  • The Outpatient Surgery Parent Support Group meets
    the first and third Wednesday of each month.
  • Sibling Program
  • Offered daily in the Child Life Outpatient
    Surgery Playroom.

Key Points to Remember
  • When talking to children about surgery and
    medical procedures, it is important to remember
    how they think.
  • Dropping down to their eye level will help the
    child feel less threatened.
  • The child should be informed about Child Life and
    who the Child Life Specialist is.
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