Who we are

Child Life Specialists are dedicated to the needs of children who receive care at Community Regional Medical Center, as well as their families. We provide kids with knowledge and coping strategies so they can face their hospital stay with confidence. We also promote healthy growth and development through play.

Our highly qualified Child Life Specialists have a bachelor’s or master’s degree and national certification. Child life assistants and volunteers are also available to play with and support your child while in the hospital.
 
Our efforts — whether they’re preparing a child for an invasive procedure or explaining a diagnosis in words they can understand — are informed by the fields of child development and psychology. 

We use play to teach kids about their medical treatment, assess their understanding, and support their ability to reach and maintain developmental milestones while in the hospital. We work closely with all members of the medical team, including doctors, nurses, occupational, speech and physical therapy, and social work.

What we do

Child Life Specialists offer kind, understanding support and education in a variety of ways:

  • We use child-friendly words and tools to explain what will happen during their procedure.

  • Our goal is to take away fear of the unknown.

  • We teach children distraction and relaxation techniques to help ease pain and anxiety.

  • We help with coping skills to deal with stressful situations — such as separation from parents and caregivers, or painful procedures.

To take away fear, we use medical equipment while playing to help kids understand and prepare for their procedure.

We're here to represent the child's voice. During their time at the hospital, we make sure to:

  • Create a kid-friendly environment.

  • Provide information to patients and their families.

  • Encourage daily routines and/or sibling visits.

  • Through play, we support continued growth and development.

  • We offer outlets for self-expression and creativity from ages 0 through 21 years. 

  • We help kids understand their loved one’s medical condition.

  • We offer a supportive outlet for expressing feelings and fears.

  • We help families reunite after a long hospital stay.

  • We help parents understand how their child will respond to the medical experience.

  • We help parents create strategies for supporting their child.

Child Life Specialist distracts a toddler with a stuffed animal and a stethoscope

Where we offer support 

The Child Life program offers support across a wide variety of pediatric service lines, including: