“Today Kenzie was all checked in and waiting to go back for her endoscopy and a Child Life worker stopped by to talk to her and help her understand what was going to happen and help her relax. I had no idea the hospital offered this. Much to my surprise it happened to be a familiar face and I knew at that moment God was answering my prayers. I hate seeing my kids be nervous. As I looked up, Amy Eads was standing in the door with a smile and I knew things would be ok. Amy offered to go put on “blue pajamas” and go back through the magical doors with Kenzie and that’s all it took. She changed and went with my baby. About five minutes later Amy came to tell me she was fine and already asleep. And then Amy checked on us again and Kenzie informed me that when she opened her eyes she saw Amy as soon as she woke up! Thank you Amy for today, you helped more than you know. I know it’s your job but you rocked it and you are awesome at it. I could tell it was all from your heart.”
This note, which was written by a young patient’s mom is what Child Life is all about.
And seeing as this month is Child Life Month, we are recognizing our Child Life Specialists for our department spotlight.
Our team of seven specialists at Memorial Hospital work to guide and comfort the children and families we serve. They work closely with our clinicians to help translate the world around our young patients into concepts and terms they can understand.
And they strive to create a hospitalization and medical experience for each patient that does not cause any delay or damage to their growth and development.
Child Life Specialists hold master’s and bachelor’s degrees in such areas as psychology, child development and infant development as well as other professional certifications. They work with all ages of pediatric patients and their families. Last fall, the department started taking Child Life services into the surgical areas of the hospital.
The team also works closely with our music and art therapists.
“Our Child Life Specialists are willing to come in at all hours of the night and they get asked to switch gears at the drop of a hat, and they do it,” said Tracy Byler, program coordinator. Tracy started the program with Alison Credi in 2007 at Memorial. “They go above and beyond on a daily basis,” she added, “and I could not ask for a better team to represent the profession.”