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Live Healthy/Metro Health: Child Life Services

11:48 AM, Apr 1, 2011   |    comments
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Katherine Wiebenga

Child Life Specialist

Metro Health

What people should know:
• Metro Health offers child life services. This is very uncommon for a community hospital. It is common for a children's hospital and DeVos has them.
• Metro's program is fully funded by donations to the Metro Health Hospital Foundation.
• Metro's child life team helps kids receiving healthcare. For example, they are called to the ED when a child is a patient and scared of what is happening to them. They provide surgery tours to kids who are having surgery and play with them before their surgery while they are waiting.
• Child life specialists talk directly and honestly with kids using language that is age appropriate. They also use medical play to help familiarize children with what they will see and experience.
• Metro's child life team also works with kids when someone important in their life is facing a medical issue that scares the child. For example, a young child was scared to visit Mom in the hospital because she had tubes in her nose. The child life person used a medical doll to show the child how the tubes were used and how the tubes helped her Mom. In the end, the child had a good visit with Mom and wasn't scared.

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