Hospitalization and illness is often a frightening experience for children. Children are exposed to many new people as well as unfamiliar experiences and sometimes-painful medical procedures. How children react to these experiences affects both the physical and emotional well being of the child.
At our St. Luke's and St. Elizabeth campuses, child life specialists are trained in the areas of child growth and development, family dynamics, play and children's reactions to health care and illness. They work with all children and adolescents 17 and younger who are admitted into our hospitals. All staff members on this unit are trained in providing age appropriate and developmental care as well.
The child life specialist works to:
- reduce the anxiety and stress that children, adolescents and families feel in a medical setting
- continue a child's normal emotional, social, physical and cognitive growth
- educate children and families about the different medical procedures that will be encountered
- provide parental support and encourage participation in their child's health care
- help children and families continue everyday life as much as possible