The team of child life specialists at CHOC Children’s strives to “normalize” the hospital environment for patients and families. By making things like medical procedures and equipment less foreign, patients can focus on what’s important: feeling better.
“At a children’s hospital, we are doing much more than treating illness. We are healing children and caring for families, says Dr. David Gibbs, division chief pediatric surgery, CHOC Children’s Specialists. “Child life gives our young patients a sense of comfort, control, and understanding that is not only helpful to them but reassuring to their families.”
Child Life’s work includes surgery preparation and support; therapeutic medical play; new diagnosis education and support; developmental stimulation; sibling support; and specialized therapeutic programs like pet, art and music therapy.
As a pediatric surgeon, Dr. Gibbs sees first-hand the impact this unique team has on a patient’s recovery.
“Child Life helps calm, cheer, and inform the child before surgery. This actually reduces the need for medication and promotes more rapid healing and recovery,” he adds.
In recognition of Child Life Week, CHOC celebrates our dynamic child life team, and the role they play in our commitment to patient and family-centered care. Watch this video for a glimpse into CHOC child life.
To reach CHOC’s child life department, please call 714-509-8473.