Seven days a week, child life specialists on the pediatric unit provide therapeutic interventions and medical teachings for hospitalized children. Medical play activities are also offered to provide a child with hands-on learning opportunities. Child life specialists support a child’s psychological, emotional and developmental needs during all aspects of hospitalization and also provide art and play activities on a daily basis.
Child life specialists, child life assistants and volunteers also offer group and bedside play activities for children.
Child life specialists specializing in teen issues have expertise caring for the emotional, psychological and developmental needs of adolescent patients on the adolescent unit.
Child life specialists hold various planned group activities for teens in the teen lounge during the course of a week. Other child life interventions such as guided imagery help to make the care of an adolescent patient at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital unique. For teenagers who just want to talk, child life specialists also are available for one-on-one bedside communication.
Child life assistants and volunteers are also available on the adolescent unit for bedside game and play activities.
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Children hospitalized in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) require emotional, psychological and developmental support . Child life specialists in this unit utilize bedside interventions and medical teachings to support pediatric patients. Techniques utilized daily by child life specialists in this area are specific to the PICU.
Child life specialists are also available for emotional support and teaching as needed for parents and siblings of patients
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Unit
Child life specialists on this special unit provide medical teachings and emotional support and activities for children who may spend long periods of time in The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital. On the pediatric hematology/oncology unit, the child life specialists also provide activities and support for parents and siblings of the hospitalized patient.
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic
Providing diversion and support during extended medical treatment times is the goal of the child life specialists working in this outpatient clinic. Providing medical teaching and emotional support for patients, siblings and parents is the role of the child life specialists here. Creative emotional expression is offered using art and play activities on a daily basis.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
A child life specialist specializing in preterm development and the support of family-centered care works on the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to provide various forms of emotional support to both parents and siblings. The Sibling Visitation Program provides opportunities for medical play and preparation for siblings prior to their visit to the NICU so that siblings can better understand the medical environment and are able to find appropriate ways to participate in the baby’s care. The child life specialist also provides various activities and support for parents during their stay.
Pediatric Emergency Department
During a visit to the emergency department, child life specialists are available to provide medical teachings and emotional support to both child and parent. In addition, individual play activities are offered to help a child feel more comfortable during their emergency department visit.
Same Day Services Unit
A child life specialist and the nurse coordinator of the Family Teaching Program are present in the Surgical Same Day Suite to provide pre-operative teaching to patients and families on the morning of surgery. With the approval of the anesthesiologist taking care of the patient, one parent may accompany the child into the operating room when the child goes off to sleep. The child life specialist and nurse coordinator offer teaching and emotional support for the family and the patient in the pre-operative waiting area and the operating room.