Certified Child Life Specialists are allied health professionals who work with children and families under stress. They typically work in pediatric hospitals, but other employment settings may include clinics, rehabilitation centers, palliative care, dental offices, and camps for children with chronic health issues.
Child Life Specialists help children and families understand and cope with illness, treatment, and hospitalization. They support coping and adjustment through therapeutic play, diagnostic education, and age-appropriate procedural and surgical preparation. Child Life Specialists also help children plan and rehearse coping skills, teach non-pharmacological pain-management techniques, and utilize other expressive avenues such as art, music, and bibliotherapy to support children and their families during times of stress. When not providing direct patient care, Child Life Specialists may also coordinate in-hospital special events, direct child and family resource centers, participate in community outreach programs, supervise volunteers, and mentor students.
Southeastern’s Family and Consumer Sciences provides a concentration in the area of Child Life that prepares students for certification eligibility. Students complete course work taught by Certified Child Life Specialists and have the opportunity to participate in Child Life clinical experiences.
For additional information, please contact program coordinator Dr. Holly Kihm at firstname.lastname@example.org.