The Child Life program at Greenville Health System Children's Hospital focuses on reducing the stress of the healthcare experience and on helping families foster healthy coping strategies. Child life specialists help equip children with strategies for coping with healthcare procedures. Child life specialists work with families to identify the aspects of healthcare procedures that might be the most difficult and create and practice a plan to cope with difficult experiences. Preparing children ahead of time eases their fears and helps them trust medical staff.
Coping plans include children's selected activities to help them deal with being in the hospital. Coping plans may include blowing bubbles, holding a hand for support, finding items in an I Spy book, and more. Making a coping plan before a procedure gives your child a sense of control and choice in the hospital.
Child Life helps kids cope by:
- providing age-appropriate play, self-expression, and educational activities to support children and aid in reducing the stress associated with the stress of the healthcare experience
- increasing familiarity with a medical environment and preparing children, teens and families for healthcare procedures
- creating and developing a supportive relationship between medical staff and patients
- including caregivers and siblings in the healthcare experience