Clinics and Departments
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The child life staff at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics help make every child’s health care experience a positive one. They work with children and adolescents to minimize the stress children can feel during hospital stays or visits to the clinics, emergency rooms, radiology, or surgery areas.
This work is crucial to a child’s emotional health because medical settings can be a new, unfamiliar world for children and teens, with the potential for them to develop fears and misconceptions. We build on children’s strengths, using many techniques to help them adjust to their medical experiences.
Child life professionals
Our child life activities associates have associate or bachelor’s degrees in development. They focus on a child’s needs for play to support normal growth and development. All child life staff members see patients in playrooms, waiting areas, and patient rooms.
Why playing is so important
Child life staff members maintains specially equipped playrooms that are safe, stress-free places for patients to play. Playrooms are the center of activities, including visits from zoo animals, bingo, and other special events.
Playing with medical materials helps a child gain a sense of control. Child life specialists supervise medical play and help children become familiar with hospital equipment. As the child’s creative imagination unfolds, the medical equipment and experiences become less frightening.
Additional child life services
Child life staff members:
Special facilities for children
A note to parents
Call our staff if you have questions about your child’s behavior or adjustment before or after a hospital or medical experience.
Child Life internships and supervised exposure experiences
We offer student internships and opportunities for students to learn more about the child life department and hospitalized children. If you have questions about future internship opportunities, please call the child life department in Minneapolis or St. Paul at the number listed below.
Special assistance for physicians
Physicians admitting a child may call the child life department in advance for information on preparing the child for hospitalization. For information call:
(651) 220-6465 for Children’s – St. Paul