Child Life Specialist Interview

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Many children, sadly, are faced with disease and illness every day. Research has shown that with the addition of a Child Life Program to a hospital setting, children in need of care have better outcomes and their hospital experience improves exponentially. My cousin and his family benefitted from the Child Life Program at Penn State Hershey Medical Center Children’s Hospital. My interview with my aunt and cousin demonstrates that Child Life Specialists definitely can make a difference when a family encounters a child’s illness. The support and care of the Child Life Specialists assist not only the child and the parents, but the entire family. They work as liaisons with the entire medical team to relieve the stress and anxiety the hospital and…show more content…
The Child Life Specialist’s most important work is the communication with the family and the patient. Fear and anxiety comes from a lack of knowledge and understanding. The Child Life Specialist can assuage the distress for both parents and child by adopting the role of liaison and advocate for the child’s care. The process and transaction components of communication “highlight the complexity and fragility of communication and strongly urge that measures be taken to see that context does not interfere with effectiveness in communication” (Thompson, 2009, p. 81). Child Life Specialists use age appropriate words and props, or toys, to make the world of the hospital less intimidating and more understandable for the child. Relieving the stress and fear of the child will add to the comfort of the worried parents. Child Life Specialists use their expertise to address the framework of the problem to best care for the patient and their family (Thompson,…show more content…
Play is pleasurable, has no extrinsic goals, is spontaneous and voluntary, involves active engagement, and has certain systematic relations as to what is not play (Thompson, Stanford, 1981). In the course of play, children are learning, growing, gaining new skills, and testing new experiences (Thompson, Stanford, 1981). My cousin played with the Child Life Specialists as part of his treatment in order to stay distracted from the pain in his limbs and especially the IV. The distractions encouraged him to use his limbs where he had earlier refused. They used the in-room television to play games while he was on the IV. He began to use his hands where he had refused to use them when the controller was placed by his side. Joshua said “the TV in my room was awesome and we watched Beverly Hill Chihuahua. I got cool toys too and a lot of playdough sets.” Playdough was used to see how his hand was healing through manipulations and play. The playdough became play therapy. Play accompanies and encourages development while keeping the child interested and engaged (Thompson, Stanford,

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