What are Child Life Specialists?
Child Life Specialists at Valley Presbyterian Hospital strive to reduce
the stress and anxiety that children encounter when they come to the hospital
by normalizing their experience.
Normalization happens by taking unfamiliar experiences and making them
less strange and scary. This is accomplished through play, education,
support and empowerment.
It is the philosophy of child life that play is a child's way of understanding
and processing the world around them. Bringing play into stressful and
unfamiliar situations allows a child to gain mastery and confidence in
an otherwise potentially overwhelming environment.
Child life specialists are certified professionals educated in child development,
and trained in the best ways to help children cope in the hospital environment.
They have attained either a bachelor's or master's degree and
are certified by the Association of Child Life Professionals, which is
the national governing body of the child life profession.
The child life specialist at VPH works on the pediatric unit, pediatric
intensive care unit and receives consults from same day surgery, emergency
department, radiology and other areas that children can be found in the
hospital. The child life specialists can also provide school re-entry
visits to assist children in returning to the classroom after a new diagnosis
or physically-altering injury.
Child Life Services
- Procedural education/ Procedure support/ Accompaniment for procedures
- Diversional activities/therapeutic coping techniques
- New diagnosis education
- Therapeutic play
- Bedside interventions
- Family support
- School reintegration
- Activity room
- Bereavement/ End of life support
- Sibling visitation/ Sibling support
- Behavior management
- Holiday celebrations
- Child life practicum program
- Volunteer opportunities
Child Life Specialists Contact Information:
Harmony Jackson, MS, CCLS
Lead Certified Child Life Specialist
Certified Child Life Specialist
You can help the children at VPH by donating new toys, games and other
supplies. Due to infection control guidelines and for the well-being of
our patients, all donations must be newly purchased items.
The child life staff has provided a
donation wish list for you to choose that will best serve our patients. Thank you for your
Student Applications for Child Life Practicum
Students who would like to apply to work or volunteer in our Children Services
click here for more information.