Child Life Specialists provide effective interventions throughout a child's hospital stay


  • Abigail Staley


Can working with a Certified Child Life Specialist help a child throughout their hospital stay? Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) are healthcare workers who provide developmentally appropriate interventions such as play, procedural preparation, and effective teaching that help children to reduce the fears and anxieties that the hospital may bring. Many children will experience a hospital visit at least once throughout their lifetime. Often a child will need medical attention for chronic illnesses, acute injuries, broken bones, etc. When a child is admitted into the hospital for any reason they may find themselves working with a CCLS. Children may view the hospital as a scary, unfamiliar place which can cause them to be overcome by anxiety. However, CCLS can provide specific resources such as play, education techniques, games, and more to help patients and their families cope with their hospitalization. The goal of this literature synthesis is to examine how CCLS helps children and families overcome their hospital stay by providing age-appropriate interventions to help minimize the negative effects of hospitalization. Reviewing existing research articles will provide an understanding of what services Certified Child Life Specialists provide along with an understanding of the effectiveness of having a CCLS present throughout the child and family’s hospital stay. Throughout literature, there is evidence of positive effects a child life specialist can have on a child’s hospitalization. Research trends indicate that CCLS can help families’ satisfaction throughout their hospital stay and provide effective interventions such as procedure preparation and medical play.






Human Ecology