March is Child Life Month, and at Children’s Hospital, we’re celebrating our team of extraordinary Child Life Specialists! Parents and kids who have not spent time in a Children’s Hospital may ask, “What is Child Life?”
Child Life, along with Creative Therapies, is a specialized service that is provided at children’s hospitals and pediatric units across the country. At Children’s Hospital New Orleans, we recognize that children are not just small adults. They are growing and learning, and the way that they do that is through play. This is why the mission of the Child Life program at Children’s Hospital New Orleans is to provide therapeutic, supportive, and educational interventions to help children and their families make the most out of the hospital experience, and ultimately, help kids to feel like kids while they’re in the hospital.
Our team of eight dedicated Certified Child Life Specialists works with children receiving care in the CICU, NICU, PICU, Same Day Surgery, Hematology/Oncology inpatient unit and clinic, 3 Center and 5 Center inpatient units, Radiology, and in the Emergency Department. They work with kids to help them understand what is happening to them while in the hospital. They explain, surgeries, treatments, and procedures in a way that kids (and family members) can understand and digest. They also help kids cope though these procedures and treatments through distraction methods and techniques.
For Children’s Hospital cancer warrior, John Robert, and his mom, Jamie, Child Life made all the difference in the world to while John Robert was undergoing cancer treatments at Children’s Hospital.
“The nature in which the Child Life team works with kids, almost helps them forget they are sick,” said Jamie. “Miranda, John Robert’s Child Life Specialist, really helped him understand what was happening to him, how the treatments and medicine were helping him, and even taught him how to swallow pills, which was essential to his treatment.”
Parents and children who have spent time in a children’s hospital know and understand the difference the Child Life team makes in a child’s care journey, and now you know too! Learn more about the Child Life program at Children’s Hospital New Orleans >>