Child Life – Nemours
Child Life Specialists embrace the roll of helping children cope with hospitalization through normalization, education and emotional support. One of the most important roles of a child life specialist, is explaining a child’s diagnosis to him or her in a way that’s appropriate for the child’s age and level of understanding. Along with that, some of the procedures children have to endure can also be very upsetting and traumatic for the child. Child life specialists can use therapeutic activities to work through those emotions with the child or their families. Child life specialists also ensure children are on track developmentally during their stay in the hospital. Through socialization, such as activities in a playroom, or bedside for those on isolation precautions, child life specialists try to create healthy interactions and distraction from what they may be battling. Specialists can use play to help children express their anxieties about their diagnosis or procedures that they may not be able to verbalize. These resources are constantly needing to be replenished in the way of age appropriate new toys, therapeutic tools, and so much more!
Qualifications to Become A Child Life Specialist
As required by the Child Life Council, a certified child life specialist must have at least a bachelor’s or master’s degree, generally in a related field of study, such as psychology, human growth and development, education or counseling. They must also complete a minimum of 480 hours in a clinical internship under a certified child life specialist. Many internships consist of more than the minimum number of hours, and most require practicum experience before the internship. The final requirement is passing a national examination offered in select cities. Once certified, child life specialists must partake in continued professional development to maintain their certification.