A hospital stay can be an overwhelming experience for an adult, let alone a child. That’s why our Banner Children’s child life specialists are here to provide comfort and ease to our young patients. Child life specialists are specially trained to work with children in medical settings and are part of the care team at Cardon Children’s Medical Center, Diamond Children’s Medical Center and Banner Thunderbird Medical Center.
What Does a Child Life Specialist Do
The short answer is “a lot.” In addition to promoting family-centered care, our child life specialists provide emotional and educational support to help children feel more comfortable while they are in the hospital. They also help with:
- Medical Preparation: Child life specialists can help children understand what will happen at the hospital. By giving just the right amount of information for their age, kids’ fears can be lifted.
- Support During Procedures: Child life specialists can help reduce pain and anxiety during medical procedures. They offer coping and breathing techniques and provide emotional support.
- Pre-surgery Tours: These tours let children and families become more familiar with the hospital environment before the child goes in for surgery.
- Medical Play: Medical play uses real or pretend medical equipment and supplies to help children get comfortable in the hospital. This allows children to express their feelings, talk through what they don’t understand, and become calm about the hospital experience.
- Therapeutic Play: Therapeutic play activities can cut down on pain, meet treatment goals, teach new skills and shorten recovery time. Play activities can happen at a child’s bedside or in a playroom.
- Support for Siblings: Brothers and sisters are affected by illness and injury, too. They may need help understanding what is happening and how to work through their feelings and concerns about their sibling. Specialists are available to help brothers and sisters with support and answers to their questions.
Banner Children's Hospital School
The Banner Children's Hospital School program helps with that and brings the classroom to the hospital. Our staff of experienced teachers offers on-site classroom or bedside teaching to help kids keep up with their studies while they are in the hospital.
Learn more about our Hospital School.
What is one of the best medicines for a child in the hospital? A visit to the toy closet! At Banner Children’s, we are dedicated to making sure every child who has a visit to the hospital received the most compassionate care possible. That’s why we let kids choose a toy from the closet as a reward for their bravery after they go through a treatment or procedure at one of our pediatric hospital locations!