Patient education is a key element in assisting patients and families feel more at ease about upcoming medical procedures and hospital stays. Child Life specialists work with the medical staff to provide essential information and to familiarize patients and families with medical facilities.
Preparation and accompaniment during medical procedures:
Invasive procedures comely occur with the children's hospitals. Fear can be significantly offset when a child understands what is to be expected, and are encouraged to be an active participant, rather than "passive victim". A Child Life specialist provides patients with preparation prior to procedures. Preparation through education is an essential component when reducing the emotional traumas associated with hospilization and children. Through Child Life interventions, such surgical unit ours, medical play, and instructional picture books, young children are better able learn about their health care in an accurate and informed manner. They can then gain mastery in an otherwise overwhelming environment; becoming better equipped to cope with challenging experiences, even beyond discharge. Child Life Specialist also accompany patient during procedure and offer distraction and coping techniques. For more information on how to help your child cope with medical procedure please call 847.723.PLAY.
- Pre-surgical tours Pediatrics and Teens
- My Hospital Scrapbook: Given to children when they are admitted to the hospital, this book teaches pediatric patients about medical care and helps prepare them further for upcoming procedures. It also serves as a support during their hospital stay and provides a journal for self-expression. (Created by Child Life Specialist Linda Bensing and sponsored by Lutheran General Children's Hospital service league.)
- Medical play: Medical play is a therapeutic play activity that provides a constructive outlet for the stresses associated with hospitalization. During medical play, children reverse roles to become the "physician" rather than the patient. Using real medical equipment, children "treat" Child Life staff or dolls and are encouraged to re-enact medical procedures. This supervised activity enables Child Life specialists to address patient's concerns, fears and fantasies. Medical art, another form of therapeutic play, allows young patients to become more familiar and comfortable with medical supplies, by giving children the opportunity to use these supplies in creative art projects.