Child Life Services
Child Life Services helps make medical treatments and procedures
easier for pediatric patients and their families.
Child Life Services at Hurley Medical Center has been providing emotional support for our pediatric patients from birth to young adulthood for over 35 years. These caring professionals recognize that undergoing treatments and procedures, and just being in the hospital, is often a very scary experience for children. By interacting one-on-one with our young patients, Child Life specialists assess each child’s needs and provide interventions.
Play is the foundation of Child Life Services
Play is the universal language of children. Child Life utilizes different types of play to help children cope with the physical, emotional, and cognitive experiences of being hospitalized. General play in the hospital setting provides children a sense of comfort. Therapeutic play refers to specialized activities that are developmentally supportive and help the emotional well-being of a pediatric patient. Play is a useful tool to explore a child’s concerns, fears, worries and understanding of his/her experience.
Hurley Child Life Services team
Child Life specialists provide family-centered care by focusing on the psychosocial needs of children, and collaborating with parents and other members of the health care team to:
- Provide emotional support to children and families who are preparing for a medical test, surgical procedure, or hospitalization
- Explain to children and their families what is going to happen so they know what to expect
- Reduce stress and anxiety through facilitating age-appropriate coping skills
- Provide sibling support
- Provide opportunities for play activities
- Minimize fear and stress experienced by children and their families through individualized age-appropriate explanation of the procedure
- Engage children and families by offering special events and activities
- An age-appropriate explanation of the procedure tailored to each child’s needs
- A school support program
- Collaborating with other support and therapeutic programs (such as Beads of Courage, Pet Therapy and Music Enrichment Program)
- Provide an opportunity for the patient to engage in pretend play and role rehearsal with medical equipment
Hurley Child Life Services provides specific services to each of the following units:
1) Burn Unit
5) Pediatric In-Patient Unit
Preparing a child or teenager for surgery is essential. A Child Life specialist will take young patients and their parents on a tour of the surgical area before the scheduled procedure. Pre-surgical tours can be scheduled by contacting the Child Life office at (810) 262-9577. Tours are recommended for children ages 3-17 and are best scheduled within a week of the surgery date. The Child Life team can also offer recommendations for how to prepare your child for surgery if a hospital tour is not possible.
Paige's Playroom is a magical place stocked with games, toys, books, PlayStations, crafts, and movie DVDs for patients and their siblings to enjoy. Named in honor of Paige Rutter, a spunky little girl who died in 2004 at age three from stage 4 Neuroblastoma, this delightful room was created with funds from local businesses, family, friends, and the Hurley staff (Paige's parents both work at Hurley). Today, in the Pediatric Unit on 2E, Paige's spirit lives on through the laughter and joy of all the children who enjoy her special room. For a picture of Paige's Playroom, click here.
Xbox Teen Room
Hurley pediatric patients (ages 10 and older) have their own special place on the Pediatric Unit on 2E of the medical center where they can forget for awhile the many tests and procedures they have to endure. In this magical room, they can have fun and just be kids. For more information about our Xbox Game Room, click here.
- Foster Grandparents: These trained volunteers give sick and premature babies in Hurley’s Level III NICU extra attention when moms are tending to their other children or resting. These caring volunteers gently rock, read to, talk to, and comfort infants, all under the supervision of a NICU nurse. Foster Grandparents also help in the Pediatric Inpatient Unit, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), and other Hurley pediatric clinics.
- Pet Therapy program
- Music enrichment program
For more information about Hurley Child Life Services, contact:
Director, Hurley Child Life Services
Hurley Medical Center
One Hurley Plaza
Flint, MI 48503