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Career Exploration >> Patient Care
CHILD LIFE SPECIALIST
Daily Tasks
Child Life Specialists help children and families cope with the stress of being in the hospital. This includes teaching children about and preparing them for medical tests and procedures, like going to the operating room or getting a cast. They also provide kids in the hospital with opportunities to do normal everyday activities like play, do a craft project, or be with other children their own age. They provide emotional support for young patients, their parents and other family members. Child Life professionals work collaboratively with nurses, doctors, social workers and chaplains in the health care team.
Skills/Talents
Must enjoy being with children of all ages. Important to know how to communicate with children; have the ability to explain complicated medical procedures in simple language. Vital to be able to relate to the hospital experience from a child's perspective, and to speak up for the special needs of children in hospitals.
Work Setting
Child Life Specialists can be found wherever children are found in the hospital, and sometimes in outpatient clinics too.
Work Hours
Work hours can vary but are generally between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Late evening hours are often required in the pediatric emergency room, and some positions require working weekends and holidays.
Education
Requires a Bachelor's degree in child life, child development, child and family studies, or a related field like recreation therapy, psychology or education.
Qualifications
Certification as a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) through the Child Life Council is preferred.
Recommended High School Classes
college prep, food and nutrition, child development, art and fine arts, healthcare sciences, psychology and second language
Minnesota Median Salary
N/A
Child Life Specialist
REAL LIFE
Explore the real life of a Child Life Specialist.