Child Life Services

Illness, injury, disability and hospitalization can be uneasy, stressful experiences for kids and their families. Normalizing the hospital environment rests in the capable hands of special Covenant experts called Child Life Specialists.

Child Life Specialists play a crucial role in supporting the emotional, psychological, and developmental well-being of pediatric patients and their families during their medical journeys. They utilize their expertise in child development and psychology to help children understand and cope with medical procedures, diagnoses, and hospital environments, often using play, art, and other creative techniques.

What are some Child Life Services offered?

  • Emotional Support: Offer emotional support to pediatric patients and their families, helping them navigate the challenges of hospitalization, medical procedures, and diagnoses.

  • Therapeutic Play: Utilize play, art, and other creative activities to facilitate emotional expression, normalize the healthcare environment, and help children understand and cope with their medical situations.

  • Preparation: Prepare children for medical procedures using age-appropriate language and techniques to reduce fear and anxiety, enhancing their understanding of what to expect.

  • Distraction Techniques: Employ distraction techniques during medical procedures to divert a child's attention, helping to alleviate pain and anxiety and make procedures more manageable.

  • Education: Provide information to children and families about medical conditions, treatments, and procedures in a way that is understandable and tailored to the child's developmental level.

  • Family Involvement: Collaborate with families to empower them in supporting their child's emotional needs, assisting them in understanding their child's reactions and offering coping strategies.

Child Life Specialist working with pediatric patient

By providing tailored interventions and education, Covenant Child Life Specialists aim to minimize stress, anxiety, and trauma for young patients, promoting positive experiences and fostering a sense of normalcy during their healthcare experiences. This specialized support ultimately contributes to improved patient outcomes and enhanced family satisfaction within the healthcare setting.

Child life specialists are most often found in Covenant’s pediatric intensive care unit, outpatient surgery, imaging, and the sedation clinic. If you or your child would like to request the services of a child life specialist, call 989-583-4187.