Child Life Program
Enhanding Family-Centered Care
A hospital can be an overwhelming environment for any patient. For children, it can be extremely stressful and scary. Feelings of fear, confusion, loss of control and isolation can occur and have negative effects on a child’s health and recovery. Orange Regional Medical Center provides a Child Life Specialist to assist and support children and their families while seeking services at our facility.
What Is The Child Life Program?
Our Child Life Program seeks to ease fear and uncertainty by familiarizing young children, adolescents and their families with the hospital experience. The Program is designed to help children through a wide variety of stressful experiences that can overpower their natural ability to cope and heal.
What Are Child Life Specialists?
A Child Life Specialist assists children and their families experiencing a broad range of challenges. As experts in child development, they promote coping though play, preparation, education and self-expression.
Child Life Specialists also provide support, information and guidance to family members, as well as play a vital role in educating caregivers, administrators and others about the needs of children, particularly those facing the stress of healthcare related issues and hospitalization.
What Services Do Child Life Specialists Provide?
Meet Child Life Specialist, Michelle Ferguson
Child Life Specialists work with families and other healthcare providers to prepare children for medical procedures or treatment by:
- Communicating using language that they understand
- Reducing anxiety and increasing cooperation through coping strategies
- Providing distractions and support while enhancing a sense of enjoyment through play
- Promoting family-centered care
What Are The Benefits Of The Child Life Program?
- Children who are emotionally prepared for medical procedures experience less fear and anxiety, and will adjust more easily to medical challenges.
- Children in the hospital who engage in therapeutic play with a trained professional exhibit less emotional distress, increased cooperation, and fewer negative physiological responses.
- Research shows that Child life interventions can increase cooperation and help to reduce procedural and post-procedural pain.
- Providing support for family members enhances psychosocial outcomes for young patients. A parent or caregiver’s behavior and anxiety levels are strongly correlated with how a child will respond to hospitalization.
Tours And Information For Pre-Admission
If your child has an upcoming surgery or procedure, contact Child Life to schedule an age appropriate tour specific to the child’s upcoming visit.
A tour is a great way to help children become familiar with the hospital in an individualized, child-friendly way. We suggest that your child bring their favorite stuffed toy or doll as a pretend patient to make it easier to explore the hospital with a specially-trained, certified Child Life Specialist. Through supervised play, your child will be encouraged to take part in a mock procedure using their doll or stuffed toy and real medical equipment.
To schedule a tour, contact our Child Life Specialist at 845-333-5150.
How You Can Help
One of the services the Child Life Program provides is the use of play to enhance and support the care we provide to our pediatric patients. The Child Life program has created a wish list of items they use for this service. To make a gift to support the program or receive a list of items needed, please contact Pam Yosh, Orange Regional Medical Center Foundation Director of Development at 845-333-2369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on our pediatric services, please visit www.ormc.org/Pediatrics or call 1-888-321-6762.
Information provided by the Child Life Council www.childlife.org