Radiology

A Look Inside: Child Life Specialists in the Radiology Department

For many children, visiting a radiology department can be a stressful and difficult experience. Having your pictures taken can often involve big, scary, loud equipment; uncomfortable positions; and even painful procedures. At Cincinnati Children’s Radiology Department, child life specialists help to decrease the stress and anxiety of radiology procedures in order to help patients and families cope more positively.

Child life specialists are trained professionals with expertise in child and family development. Their training allows them to support you and your child before, during, and after stressful procedures. Child life specialists focus on providing age- and developmentally appropriate information to patients, teaching them what will happen or what they will be asked to do. During a procedure, they help to distract children through play or media such as music, videos, or video games. In addition, they teach coping techniques like deep breathing to help lower fear, stress and anxiety. After a procedure, child life specialists help families process the experience in order to explore feelings, acknowledge accomplishments, praise successes and clarify misconceptions.

Having child life specialists as part of our imaging team helps us to perform high-quality imaging studies for our patients. Child life specialists are assigned to work in the Radiology Departments of the Main Campus and Liberty neighborhood location.

Catherine Leopard

About the Author: Catherine Leopard

Catherine is a Child Life Specialist who works in Cincinnati Children’s Department of Radiology. She has always been drawn to helping children overcome their fears. As a young child, Catherine remembers sitting in her pediatrician’s office feeling sad as she listened to young babies crying in exam rooms. In response, she began singing lullabies through the walls to sooth and comfort those children in distress. As an adult, she first experienced the support of Child Life when her infant daughter was hospitalized. After that positive experience, Catherine completed her Child Life internship at Cincinnati Children’s and has worked here ever since. Her daughter is now a teenager and her son is an active 3rd grader.

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