Child Life specialists at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center strive to support residents and families throughout their stay by helping them successfully cope with procedures, transitions, treatment and other health related stressors. The Child Life team assesses each resident and family upon admission and implements developmentally appropriate education, preparation and support to help families maintain normalcy during their healthcare experience.
Our credentialed Child Life specialists are trained at the master’s level and certified by the National Child Life Council. With a diverse background in child development, psychology and education, each specialist utilizes their education to:
- Minimize stress, trauma, fear and anxiety through education, preparation, play and support
- Encourage play and self-expression
- Educate children and their families on illnesses, injuries, medical equipment and treatment
- Prepare children and their families for procedures, surgeries, medical tests and transitions
- Address common fears and misunderstandings and provide developmentally appropriate educational information.
- Empower residents to explore medical procedures through supervised medical play
- Implement therapeutic interventions and non-pharmacological pain management techniques to maximize coping
- Advocate for family-centered care
- Consider the needs of siblings or other children who may also be effected by a child’s illness or trauma
- Support families through grief and bereavement by providing education, guidance and creative processing
Additionally, we have our Family-Centered Care Library within our Child Life room. This library is dedicated to empowering, supporting and guiding families during their health care journey. This space was designed to provide residents and their families with a home-like environment where residents can visit and play with their siblings and other young family members year round, 365 days a year. Amenities include: a computer with secure Internet access for reliable information on child development, medical conditions, children with special needs, self-care practices and supportive literature; a printer with fax, copy and scan capabilities; a hot and cold beverage selection; light snacks; educational materials in English, Spanish, French and Mandarin; children’s stories in English, Spanish, French, Mandarin and Hebrew; and a sibling corner with age-appropriate books, activities, DVDs, plenty of toys and more!