Child Life Services

Stony Brook Medicine

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    The Child Life Services Department at Stony Brook Children’s is an integral part of the hospital experience for children. The Department’s expert and caring team members help children become more comfortable during their visit by addressing fears, clearing up common misconceptions about medical procedures and hospitalization, preparing the child appropriately, and in promoting a sense of mastery over the hospital experience in the child. They accomplish this through, explaining what is happening in child-friendly ways and age-appropriate language, "normalizing" the hospital experience, offering pre-hospitalization tours and other orientation activities, keeping play at the forefront, and providing therapeutic, educational, and recreational activities that meet the unique emotional and developmental needs of each child.

    These services are provided by Certified Child Life Specialists, who have training in child development and years of experience in how children respond to every aspect of hospitalization. Typically families will meet a Child Life Specialist upon arrival at the hospital or in advance of the visit if they are taking a tour. The Child Life Specialist can prepare the child, family and siblings on what to bring to the hospital and what to expect both during the visit and with specific procedures.

    Child Life Specialists are key members of the multidisciplinary patient care team and work closely with other practitioners—where they remain with the child during testing procedures—and in departments where children have extended hospital stays such as hematology and oncology. They also work in the oncology clinic to help bridge the gap between inpatient and outpatient care.

    CONTACT: For more information or to schedule a pre-hospitalization tour, call (631) 444-3840.

    For the Community – Child Life Specialists: Helping Kids and Families Cope, Hope and Heal

    For Medical Professionals - Child Life Specialists: The Coping Experts for Sick Kids and Their Families