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Child Life Program
 
Child Life Program


Overview

Girl-crayon.jpgThe Child Life staff helps normalize the hospital environment, providing psychosocial support and educational programs for infants, children, adolescents, and their families in order to minimize the stress and anxiety related to hospitalization.

Our Child Life Specialists hold a minimum of a bachelor's level degree in Child Life or a related field.  Each has completed at least a 480 hour internship and is certified.  Through all of this training, they have expertise in the special needs of hospitalized children.

The Child Life Staff

Provide diversional and developmental play opportunities. Planned activities, ranging from arts and crafts to toys and games, are conducted throughout the day in the Child Life Center and at the bedside for children who cannot leave their rooms.

Normalize the hospital environment. We try to make the hospital as much like home as possible by having toys, games, and activities that they are familiar with at home and at school.  We celebrate holidays with a party, special visiting guests, or other appropriate activities.

Help patients to express their feelings throughout their hospital stay. The Child Life Specialists can engage children in therapeutic play to help them cope with the negative feelings generated by unpleasant medical events and hospitalization. Therapeutic play may include medical play, expressive art, or a creative writing activity.

Introduce patients and families to relaxation/distraction techniques before a procedure. After teaching techniques and practicing with the patient, we can accompany them during procedures if the parent is not present or if the child requests it.

Assist in preparing patients for upcoming surgery and medical procedures. The Child Life Specialists can provide age-appropriate explanations along with hands on experience with dolls using real and play medical equipment.


To contact the Child Life Program, please call (207) 662-6267 or e-mail wormes@mmc.org.