Child Life Specialists
Interested in volunteering in the Child Life Program?
Alexian Brothers Women & Children's Hospital, located on the campus of St. Alexius Medical Center, strives to meet the needs of the community and the needs of pediatric patients and their families. To help meet these needs, Child Life Specialists are on staff.
Child Life Specialists are professional members of the healthcare team that strive to reduce the stress associated with healthcare experiences and enables children and families to cope in a positive manner. By using age-appropriate education, activities, and play, we minimize stress and encourage coping in children and families.
Why is Play Important?
Play is critical in the development of children. Play is a child’s work. Children learn through play and express their feelings. In order for children to cope, play opportunities need to be provided. In addition to learning, children learn to cope positively in the hospital environment and continue growth and development. We strongly encourage parents and caregivers to play with their child while in the hospital.
What Does Child Life Offer?
In order to address social, emotional and psychological needs, our Child Life services offer:
- Age-appropriate explanations about medical experiences
- Distraction and preparation before, support during and after stressful exams or procedures
- Therapeutic and Diversional play opportunities, including dog therapy
- Medical play to help restore control and work out fears and misconceptions
- Preparation for sibling visits to the hospital
- Education for family members
- Provide familiar activities
- Assistance with school re-entry and help set up hospital and home bound tutoring
- Community classes such as Operation Discover, 9-1-1 Kids, and Kids Club to teach children about the hospital and prepare them for upcoming procedure
- Facilitation of special events
Activities Available for Pediatric Patients
- Each Pediatric room has a DVD/VCR player & CD player with soothing sounds
- Movie library for patient use
- Access to wireless internet
- Laptops and desktops with internet access
- Videogame systems such as Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Game Cube and PlayStation 2
- Arts & Crafts
- Playroom for patients
A class designed to educate children who will be having surgery. Class includes a tour of Day Surgery. Appropriate for ages 3 to 12. Kids Club is by appointment only. To register call (847) 843-2000, ext 6634.
A class designed for soon-to-be big brothers and big sisters. Parents accompany children to class. Class is scheduled on a Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and is recommended for children aged 2-9 years old. To register for the Sibling class, call 1-866-ALEXIAN (1-866-253-9426).
Topics covered are:
- View video of sibling jealousy and how to work it out
- Show how the spread of germs travels with glitter
- Talk about the importance of washing hands
- Learn reasons why babies cry
- Practice appropriate baby holding
- Practice diaper changing on a favorite toy or doll brought from home
- Possible tour of the Nursery and Post-partum room on Mother/Baby unit
Volunteer Opportunities in the Child Life Program
Volunteers are an essential part of a successful Child Life program. Our seasonal volunteers help the Child Life Specialist to aid children and families while in the hospital. For further information, please contact Child Life Services at (847) 843-2000 ext. 6607. If interested, please complete an application and email it to : Katie.Eliasek@alexian.net A follow up phone interview is required.
Listed below are the seasonal volunteer sessions and application deadline dates ( a minimum of 50 hours is required to fulfill your obligation):
FALL: September thru December
Application Deadline: last Friday in July
WINTER/SPRING: January thru April
Application Deadline: last Friday in November
SUMMER: May thru August
Application Deadline: last Friday in March