Child Life Specialists
The hospital environment can be an intimidating and frightening place for children and adolescents as they encounter many new faces and overwhelming feelings of loss of control. Child Life specialists at Swedish strive to reduce the negative impact of stressful or traumatic events and situations that affect the development, health, and well-being of infants, children, youth and families.
Child Life services available at the First Hill campus are in the Pediatric inpatient unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, surgery, radiology and Pediatric procedural sedation unit. Child Life services available at the Issaquah campus are in outpatient surgery, Pediatric inpatient unit and radiology. Child Life services available at the Cherry Hill campus are in MRI and the special procedures unit (SPA-U) upon request.
Child Life Services are available to all pediatric patients. Let your nurse or doctor know if you are interested in having a Child Life Specialist visit with you or your child during your hospital stay.
Certified Child Life Specialists are part of the healthcare team at Swedish. They are available to promote the health and well-being of hospitalized children and families by providing the following services:
- Developmentally appropriate education and preparation about illnesses, procedures, and treatments
- Support through medical procedures
- Strategies to encourage positive coping through relaxation and distraction techniques
- Individualized and group play sessions to promote normalcy and optimal development
- Coordination of special events, entertainment, holiday celebrations and donations
- Family-centered care practices and advocacy
- Pre-operative tours
- Bereavement and grief support
- Sibling support
- Volunteer management
- Pet therapy
The Child Life Practicum at Swedish Medical center is designed to prepare individuals for a future in the field of Child Life. The 12 - 15 week (with a minimum of 100 hours) practicum provides students an opportunity to become familiar with the role and responsibilities of a Child Life Specialists. The practicum allows for students to gain experience in working with children in the hospital, providing developmental play and support for patients and the opportunity to shadow Child Life Specialists during interventions. Swedish Child Life Specialists work in multiple areas of the hospital that serve pediatric patients including Pediatrics, Pediatric Intensive Care, Pediatric Sedations, Radiology and Pediatric Surgery. The Child Life Program at Swedish Medical Center DOES NOT offer a Child Life internship.
- Increased familiarity with the hospital environment
- Increased independence in providing therapeutic and developmentally supportive play with patients
- Understanding of developmental stressors and issues for infants, children, teens and families in the hospital setting
- Provides opportunities for students to observe and explore the following theory and interventions related to child life practice:
- Child Life assessments
- Developmental theory integration
- Therapeutic play intervention
- Rapport building
- Prepare the practicum student for future clinical practice
To be considered for Swedish Medical Center’s Child Life practicum program, individuals must have or be seeking a Bachelor’s degree (minimum of a junior status) either in Child Life or a related field. Applicants must also have a minimum of 75 documented hours volunteering with in a pediatric health care setting or related.
The following are required elements of the Swedish Child Life Practicum application:
- Completed Swedish Child Life Practicum Application
- Current Resume
- Signed verification of completed 75 hours of volunteering in a pediatric health care setting or related by volunteer supervisor
- Two professional letters of recommendation
Applications must be fully completed and postmarked by application deadline. No late submission will be accepted.
Completed applications should be sent to:
Swedish Medical Center
Child Life – 9EAST Pediatrics
Attn: Child Life Practicum
Seattle, WA 98122
Spring Session: Application due Jan. 15th and Notification by Feb. 15th
Fall Session: Application due Aug. 1st and Notification by Sept. 1st
If you have any questions, please give us a call.
Pre-operative tours are provided to prepare children and parents for an upcoming scheduled surgery under anesthesia. These are individualized sessions with a Child Life Specialist who will walk you through the day of surgery process. The tours are fun, interactive, and educational. They are geared to reduce the anxiety related to a child's anticipated surgery and are tailored to meet the social and emotional needs of your child. Call us to schedule.
If you are interested in donating toys to the pediatric unit at Swedish, please contact us at 206-386-6283.
Pediatrics and Child Life services are always thrilled when staffs, patients or the community choose to donate to our pediatric patients. However, due to hospital infection control policy, ALL DONATIONS MUST BE NEW AND UNUSED. The only USED donations we are able to accept are DVD’s and X-Box One Games as they can be thoroughly disinfected.