5 Ways a Child Life Specialist Can Help Your Family

Nurse with a patient in the hospitalAn important part of every pediatric orthopedics program, a child life specialist works to help with the psychological and social needs of children undergoing diagnosis and treatment.

Child life services specialists are there to make sure each child in the orthopedics program is receiving the best emotional support possible. Here are five ways your child life specialist can help your family.

1. Offer Emotional Support

Child life specialists engage and occupy both a child and their family using therapeutic play activities to help ease fear and anxiety around a treatment or condition. They are also able to help families confronting grief and bereavement issues.

2. Collaborate

Because a pediatric orthopedics program is made up of members of an interdisciplinary team, including doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, social workers and other specialists, the child life services specialist will work with all to ensure information is easily shared between all team members helping a child.

3. Provide Information and Resources

Child life services specialists not only collaborate with a child’s orthopedics team, but also keep children and their families informed about specifics of their treatment plan and are able to address the questions that family members may have.

A child life specialist is a family’s connection to the entire pediatric orthopedics team.

4. Encourage Understanding

If misunderstandings arise, whether it’s about the nature of a treatment by family members or about the nature of a child’s condition, a child life specialist is able to step in and offer the best information about a diagnosis or treatment.

5. Advocate for the Family

The child life specialist is assigned to not only offer a child and their family support and information, but also to be a voice for their needs and concerns with hospital staff and social workers.