At Carilion Children's, each of our Certified Child Life Specialists help create an experience that impacts each family in a positive manner, whether during their child's outpatient visit or a hospital stay at the Carilion Children's Hospital. The Child Life Program aims to provide support to each child and their families at every step along the way.
The Child Life Program is encompassed with a team of individuals that are specifically trained and certified to help children, adolescents, and families understand the illness, necessary treatment plan, and hospitalization. Each specialist promotes the necessary strategies of coping through play, self-expressive activities, age-appropriate medical preparation and education. Each of these processes are intentionally designed to help both the child and family gain a better understanding of the medical procedure, which will help reduce stress and fear of the unknown during a difficult time.
We offer the only program in Western Virginia with the following goals at the forefront when delivering care:
- Improve each patient's understanding of their hospital experience
- Recognize and support strengths within each family
- Provide the necessary emotional support to the patients and families
- Create a healthy environment for sustainable support
- Promote continuous growth and development
- Advocate for patient- and family-centered care
Child Life Specialist Offerings
Our Child Life Program focuses on four specific areas to ensure the children receive the quality care they need:
Development & Recreation.
We value the necessity for each child to have fun, which will keep their minds busy during such a difficult time through pleasant distraction. Our playroom offers toys and activities to help remove any fear and/or anxiety that comes with staying in the hospital. We encourage each patient to get to know other children in our hospital as it allows them and their families to form a bond with one another.
Patient and Family Education.
Preparing children for surgery or other medical procedures in a safe atmosphere can provide a framework of control and a deeper understanding into the complex events. Each patient and family will receive the necessary educational material and information before and after their surgery to provide guidance in each step toward becoming healthier.
Prior to our patients going into surgery or any procedure, our specialists will come along side the child and family to minimize any stress or anxiety.Through activities and therapeutic processes, we seek to provide that psychological support before, during, and even after any treatment.
Before and after surgery or other procedures, each family will receive individualized support. From a comforting hug to a smile will go a long way to making each child feel safe during their difficult time.
We encourage you to read about our program offerings, services, annual events, and training programs that each of our Child Life Specialists can provide to each patient and family.
For more information or any questions about our Child Life Services, please contact us at (540) 981-8099.