September 16, 2015

So I decided after receiving a bunch of e-mails over a period of time with questions in regards to Child Life, I thought it was only appropriate to write a more personal post about what I do Monday through Friday, 7:00am until 3:00pm. It isn’t the most glamorous of jobs, I typically don’t even wear make-up and spend a ton of time sitting on our waiting room floor doing medical play with the patients. With this being said, it is hands down one of the most rewarding and fulfilling jobs that unfortunately isn’t yet super well known, but we are working on it!

child life specialist

Some of my favorite artwork from patients

From a really young age I always knew I wanted to work with children, but was never totally sure in what way. I didn’t think I would make the greatest teacher and am a bit too squimish to become a nurse (yes, I prepare children for IV’s, but truth be told I pass out when I get one myself). My sophomore year of college my mom sent me an article about Child Life Specialists and the rest was history.

Currently, I work on the Day Surgery unit preparing children on what to expect for…you guessed it, surgery! We talk a lot about what they will see, feel, hear as well as explaining in a child friendly manner what exactly to expect. A huge component of my job is to reduce stress and anxiety for both the child and their parents/guardians and make the hospital not seem so scary. I was fortunate enough to have the support of my hospital to film a pre-operative tour for families which I have linked below. I love giving the tours in person and it is one of my favorite parts of my job, but some families travel from far away and we wanted to offer a resource for them to basically have a “dress rehearsal” of what the day will be like when they come in that they can view from home.

I was SO nervous to make this video, but it actually gave me a little courage to hopefully add a few tutorials to this blog one day. If you have any questions about child life or you are in the field yourself I would love to hear from you! Thanks to all that have e-mailed me about what I do, I love chatting about it and hopefully encouraging and introducing you all to something new!

On a side note, I am also on our hospital Prom Committee, which may be my favorite day of the year. We work year long with a few of the teen patients to bring their vision to life. It is hands down WAY better then any prom I attended! You can watch a cute video here. Fun fact, what will be two years ago this upcoming May, the day we hosted prom for the kids is the same day that Matt drove to PA to ask my parents if he could marry me 🙂 Best day all around!

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