Child life specialists are specially trained healthcare professionals who work with the psychosocial and emotional needs of children of all ages. A child life specialist’s main role is to work with the pediatric patients in the hospital setting, but at The Cancer Center at Metro Health Village, they are also involved in the care of our patients and their families in four ways:
We know that a cancer diagnosis not only affects the patient, it also impacts family members, including spouses, children and grandchildren. Child life specialists are available to meet with patients and family members. Meetings can be made to coincide with a scheduled appointment to talk about topics such as:
- Telling a child about a cancer diagnosis
- How to emotionally support a child through the treatment process
- Resources available to help families through this experience
If a patient has to be hospitalized, child life specialists are available to help visiting children by providing developmentally appropriate information about the hospital and fun activities to help them cope with the experience.
The newest program put on by Child Life Services is a support group for the children and teenagers of cancer patients. It meets every Tuesday evening form 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. at the same time our adult patients are participating in their own support group. This special program combines education on child-appropriate topics with fun. It also brings children together who are facing similar situations, since we know children cope better when they know that they are not alone.
As a staff, we value treating the family as a whole. As said before, a cancer diagnosis impacts the whole family and can put a strain on the family unit. Our events are designed to bring the whole family together to participate in fun activities, which build memories and strong family bonds. Events include:
- Spring Break Bowling Event (March 28, 2013)
- Summer Day Camp (July: dates to be determined)
- Winter Holiday Party
All Child Life programs are free of charge to families. Child Life Services is fully funded by the philanthropic support of donors in the community through the Metro Health Hospital Foundation.
To speak with a child life specialist from Metro Health, please contact:
Child Life Services
If you would like to learn more about Child Life Services at Metro Health Hospital, click here.