Child Life: A Day In Their Shoes

Child life at Arnold Palmer Medical Center (APMC) is made up of a team of professionally Certified Child Life Specialists and child life assistants who strive to mitigate the fear and mystery of a healthcare experience for children, teens, and families. They focus on building therapeutic relationships and providing supportive interactions for the purpose of helping these young patients and their siblings understand and cope with hospitalization and medical treatment.

A typical day for a child life specialist starts after arriving at the hospital, usually around 8 a.m. Assigned to serve a specific patient population, the specialist meets with the nurses working on that unit to get an up-to-date report on the patient, including: the child’s medical status, information on their family, procedures taking place and any complications experienced during the night. Taking the learnings from this meeting, the child life specialist is then able to create a plan for the day, assess their priorities and determine which patients need the most attention.

In addition to child life specialists and assistants, APMC also has an Events Coordinator, various Healing Arts staff, volunteer staff, and a Music Therapy team that includes board-certified Music Therapists. But there is still a need for more – which could help them expand to add a teacher, and also extend their reach to assist children and teens in more of the outpatient settings and with children of adult patients being cared for at other Orlando Health hospitals.

“I have seen a lot of change and forward momentum in the child life profession over the years, which has helped us grow and evolve services at APMC. The public is becoming more aware about what a child life specialist is and does, and for the healthcare staff, we have become a fully integrated member of that clinical team,”  said Sheri Mosely, Manager for Children’s and Women’s Services and Community Engagement at APMC.

Watch the short video on this group of medical professionals that are solely dedicated to making sure children are loved during their time with us.

Child Life services are not billable, and are therefore reliant on charitable contributions from the community to support this vital program for patients and there families. Read more about how Child Life offers Play, Preparation and Education at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children Illuminate Blog here.

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