Child Life Program
When children are hospitalized it can be a frightening experience for the child
and the family. The University of Florida at Shands Jacksonville offers a Child
Life Program to help children cope and adjust during their stay in the hospital.
The mission of the program is to comfort and educate. The program dedicates resources
to reduce the stressful or emotionally traumatic impact of hospitalization as it
relates to the development, health, and well-being of pediatric-aged patients and
Medically fragile pediatric, neonatal, and Level I trauma patients are treated in
the inpatient pediatric units. The Child Life Program plans and implements therapeutic
activities that promote normal growth and development during a hospital stay. Coping
skill education, procedural preparation and support, medical play, expressive arts,
and socialization are used to encourage patient and family comfort. An expedited
healing process and improved patient wellbeing are benefits of Child Life care.
Pediatric Emergency Department Services
When emergent services are required to treat illness and injury, the Child Life
Program helps children and families manage the stress of their condition. Developmentally
friendly activities include education, support, and normalization of activities
and the environment. Knowledge, diversion, and distraction assist children in understanding
and adapting to their medical care. The benefits of Child Life care include increased
patient cooperation with their treatment plan and improved patient satisfaction.