Cancer: Before This and After This

Each hospital unit does things very differently based on the unit’s patient population. Some staff are more involved with their patients due to the continuous care a patient may need, such as the Oncology Clinic that sees their patients on a weekly or monthly basis. Because staff may see the same patient week after week,…

The CCLS in the Hat(s)

Hi, I’m Jessica and I’m a Certified Child Life Specialist. However, depending on the day, sometimes I present myself as a number of other job titles and responsibilities. Some days I’m an educator for the child who is just diagnosed with diabetes and doesn’t understand all of the big words the dietician or physician is saying….

The Practicality of a Practicum

Practicums aren’t necessarily “required” however they do offer lots of advantages to most students who complete one prior to obtaining an internship. A practicum is a designated amount of unpaid hours (typically anywhere from 100-200 hours) for one to observe Certified Child Life Specialists in typically a hospital setting on assigned unit(s) (pediatrics, surgery, emergency department, etc).

I See You, Future Child Life Specialist

This time of year can be so, so stressful. You may still be in school and experiencing finals week, or maybe you’re in the throes of graduate school and trying to get all of your ducks in a row, or maybe this December is just really stressful with all of the family and friends you’ll…

Our Superpower is to Empower

When I first began in the child life field, I was taught that the nurses and multidisciplinary staff should be calling you for every procedure and every opportunity for education and distraction with patients. I was told that the nurses “probably wouldn’t call,” and that it was imperative that I insert myself whenever possible in…

The Child Life Mentor

Hi, I’m Jessica – I’m a Certified Child Life Specialist, and one of my greatest passions is helping students. I was in your shoes not too long ago myself (5 years ago), and I can remember all of the feels, almost exactly, if I close my eyes and focus on that time in my life….

Putting the YES back in AutoNOmy

Children learn autonomy by making their own choices and decisions about their day; what they will wear, what they will eat, or what they will play with outside. However, when a child is in the hospital, these choices often get overlooked or are non-existent. It is important for children to feel like they have a…

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Child Life Neighborhood

Child Life has been around for years, but so frequently when I go into patient rooms for the first time and introduce myself, “Hello, I’m Jessica and I’m the Child Life Specialist here today,” so many of them quickly ask, “And what is that?” before I have the opportunity to finish my sentence! Child Life…