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Child Life Services

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Providing Positive Health Care Experiences


At MultiCare Mary Bridge Children's Hospital & Health Center, we know that children need more than medicine to get well. That’s why we are committed to providing positive health care experiences for the children we serve. Since a hospital can be a scary place for a child, the Child Life Services department is here to help children and their families to cope during their experience at Mary Bridge. From pre-surgery tours to activity time, special visitors to therapeutic play, our specially trained staff gives patients the chance to just be kids while they’re in the hospital.

What is a Child Life Specialist?
A Child Life Specialist is unique to a children’s hospital setting. The goal of Child Life Specialists is to minimize the stress and anxiety of children and families receiving medical care.

Child Life Specialists:

  • Help patients prepare for procedures or surgery through medical play
  • Increase patients' understanding of their diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care
  • Provide pre-operative tours
  • Provide developmentally appropriate play opportunities
  • Offer distractions and coping strategies for kids
  • Help siblings understand their brother’s/sister’s illness, surgery or injury
  • Educate parent/caregiver on effects of their children’s conditions related to their development

Volunteers
Volunteers are essential to our Child Life team. Mary Bridge has a great staff of well-trained volunteers who assist with play activities for children.

Activity Rooms
The playroom is located on the sixth floor of Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. The playroom provides a safe place for the kids to take a break from their medical routine.

Computers with Internet access are available for patient and family use in our Family Resource Room on the sixth floor. All patient rooms are wireless Internet compatible.

Pre-Surgery Tours
Pre-surgery tours are designed to introduce the surgery experience to children 2 years and older, and their families, in a relaxed atmosphere. A Child Life Specialist will lead your tour and answer any questions you or your child might have. Tours are available for day surgeries and inpatient surgeries requiring an overnight stay. To schedule a tour, call 253-403-5315.

For more information about Child Life Services at Mary Bridge, call 253-403-5315 or 800-552-1419 ext. 5315.

Going to the Hospital?

Read some good books with your child to help them prepare for their visit:

Clifford Visits the Hospital by Norman Bridwell

Going to the Hospital by Anne Civardi

Matthew Takes His Shot (diabetes) by Owen Coleman

Miffy in the Hospital by Patricia Crampton

Tubes in my Ears by Virginia Dooley

Let’s Talk About When You Have Your Tonsils Out by Melanie Apel Gordon

Good-Bye, Tonsils by Juliana Lee Hatfield

Franklin Goes to the Hospital by Sharon Jennings

KoKo’s Big Earache by Vicky Lansky

Chris Gets Ear Tubes by Betty Pace

Curious George Goes to the Hospital by Margret Rey

Going to the Hospital by Fred Rogers

A Big Operation by Richard Scarry

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