The Future of Child Life in Pediatrics and Its Implications for Health Care Professionals
In the pediatric setting, the child life specialist is a unique member of the health care team, specifically trained in addressing the psychosocial needs of young patients. This is accomplished through a variety of techniques aimed at reducing anxiety and creating a sense of normalcy in the patient’s life. Currently, the presence of child life programs varies from hospital to hospital, and the amount of participation by other health care professionals, namely physicians, is limited. This thesis explores the history of child life and the current state of the profession through a case study examining two excellent programs within the United States. The final portion of the project addresses current weaknesses and challenges faced in pediatric medicine, offering novel suggestions aimed at improving collaboration between child life and the physician community. Such a partnership could have an invaluable, lasting effect on pediatric medicine and the future style of care provided to children.
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