At NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children's Hospital, our Certified Child Life Specialists employ a mix of education, play, therapeutic, and self-expression activities to help children cope with their hospitalization and illness. They also provide information and support to families and advocate for family-centered care and the needs of the hospitalized child.
A certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) is a specially trained professional with a minimum of a Bachelors Degree or a Master's Degree in Child Life, Education, Psychology or other closely related field who has also completed an internship with a minimum of 500 hours under the direct supervision of a CCLS and passed the CCLS certification exam.
Our Child Life Specialists use age-appropriate educational materials so that our young patients can see, feel, hear and touch things with which they will come in contact during a procedure, test, or their hospital stay in order to reduce their fears. A variety of activities for older children and teenagers are available, as well, to normalize their hospital experience.
We encourage you to contact a Child Life Specialist for their expertise in helping patients and families to navigate the following challenges:
- coping difficulties
- information about an illness, injury or a new diagnosis
- preparation for scheduled procedures, tests, or surgeries
- parents' support and accompaniment during a procedure
- pain management
- medication compliance
- developmental issues
- sibling issues
- frequent admissions
- impending death or death