GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) —Child life specialists utilize play to help educate and ease families and patients into their hospital diagnosis. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital understands the importance of taking care of our children all the time. When it comes to hospital trips, they can be scary and uncertain. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s Child Life specialists work hard to prepare, connect, and get children and young adults through treatment.

Maranda talked with Adolescent Young Adult Life Specialist Morgan Syme, who described what makes her role as a Child Life Specialist unique. The average stay of a child or young adult depends on treatment. Some patients stay as little as five to 10 days up to needing years of treatment. Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital can really support these children and help them navigate their treatment by offering additional resources. For teens and young adults, it is an interesting time in their lives where they are also thinking about their careers. They have an awesome community partner called “Connecting Championships” that helps connect patients with places they are interested in. 

Another way Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital supports its children is through their virtual child life specialist role. Maranda talked with Sarah Lanham, Child Life Specialist, who talked about how impactful the virtual role has been. The virtual child life role prepares children and young adults for their procedure and answers all pf their questions. Pictures are shown of each area in the hospital which gives children a feeling of control over something they don’t have control over. Many kids are often excited to tell the nurses exactly how things are going to go. You can learn more about all the wonderful things Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Child life specialists do for our children here.      

Sponsor Helen Devos Children’s Hospital