Child Life Specialists: Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute
Our Child Life specialists work with each child who comes to us for treatment. They’re here to teach, play and offer whatever support your child needs.
Cancer diagnosis and treatment can be difficult for children to understand — and overwhelming for families. That’s why we have Child Life specialists who work exclusively in the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute. Our Child Life specialists understand these challenges and are here to help.
We recognize that our patients are — first and foremost — children. No matter what’s happening with their treatment or medical condition, they need the freedom to laugh, play and just be kids.
At the Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, we never lose sight of your child’s emotional well-being.
Child Life Specialists: Services We Offer
In a hospital world where nearly everyone your child encounters needs to poke, prod or pry, Child Life specialists are different. Their job is to make treatment less scary for children and help them cope. Services we offer include:
- Patient education: Our Child Life specialists work with each child who comes to the Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute. They help children understand their diagnosis and prepare for treatment. We use age-appropriate techniques to teach children what to expect during every step of their treatment.
- Sibling support: A child’s diagnosis and treatment can have profound effects on siblings. Child Life specialists help the patient’s siblings understand what is happening and what to expect.
- Emotional support: Our Child Life specialists use various methods to help kids cope emotionally during long hospital stays. They use art to help children express themselves and provide play opportunities to help children process their thoughts and fears. We also have a music therapist on staff to work with children who need extra support.
- Animal therapy: Certified therapy dogs make their rounds at the hospital. They visit children and their families, raising everyone’s spirits.
- Procedure support: Having blood drawn, a port accessed or preparing for surgery can be scary to a child. Our Child Life specialists use dolls, pictures and medical equipment to explain procedures in an age-appropriate way. And when it’s time for the procedure, you can request that your child’s Child Life specialist be there to help distract — with songs, toys, electronics and more.