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MultiCare Profiles: Child Life Specialists help comfort kids

Posted on May 1, 2013 ( comments)

In the month of May, we’re celebrating the Child Life Specialists at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Center.

Child Life Specialists are child-development experts who help children cope with the hospital environment through play, self-expression activities, and age-appropriate medical preparation and education, according to ChildLife.org. As advocates of family-centered care, child life specialists work in partnership with doctors, nurses, social workers and families to meet the emotional, developmental and cultural needs of each child and family. 

We asked our Certified Child Life Specialists why they love working with the young patients at Mary Bridge:

  • “I love being able to make a small difference in the life of a child. I enjoy using something as simple as play to help kids understand and feel less scared when they come to the hospital.” – Jill Whelan
  • “The thing I love most about being a Child Life Specialist is the connection you make with the kids. Just playing or coloring with them, you can see them start to open up and talk about what’s important in their lives. I really enjoy being a part of that and helping them anyway I can.” – Valerie Chance
  • "It is the moments when a parent looks at you with tears in their eyes and says, 'Thank you for helping my child be a child' that I realize I love my job. Not to mention all the amazing things each of these children teach me day in and day out. Children are remarkable!" – Robyn Carper
  • “In moments of celebration or frustration, I love the opportunity to meet patients and families where they’re at in their journey. And I especially love the sweet moments of making spaghetti out of Play-Doh, playing Candy Land with a new set of rules, and creating artistic masterpieces in the playroom.” – Kristen Bishop
  • “I love being able to work with the health care team to make a child's stay as positive as possible. I love being able to provide play opportunities to patients while they are in the hospital and being able to see how small things and small moments of showing someone how much you care can make such a positive difference for a child and their family.” – Christina Becerra
  • “I love my job because I am a 36 year old who walks around with a pink and blue backpack full of toys. I use these toys as tools to help make the hospital an easier place for kids to be. I love the people I work with and the kids and families I meet. Every day and experience is very unique. I love finding out each child’s story and what kinds of things are important to them as they spend time at our hospital. I am honored to be on their journey with them.” – Julie Hertzog

MultiCare Profiles: Through these stories, we aim to highlight people who exemplify our values and help contribute to our overall mission of providing quality care for patients and their families. If you know someone who should be considered for MultiCare Profiles, send us an email.

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