Despite the name, child life specialists aren’t just for kids. At Cincinnati Children’s, our child life specialists support patients and families at all ages and stages. We can help lower stress and increase positive coping. Here are five ways our “child life” specialists can support adults with congenital heart disease (CHD).
1. PROVIDING WHOLE-PERSON CARE
Our medical providers take care of your medical needs and child life specialists can help make sure your social and emotional needs are met as well. We will focus on your non-medical needs, such as providing emotional support and encouraging routines and personal connection.
2. HELPING EXPLAIN MEDICAL INFORMATION
Medical information, whether it is about a future test, procedure or a new diagnosis, can be confusing no matter your age. Our specialists have training in communicating medical information in ways that are easier to understand. Whether you learn best through pictures, listening, or hands-on, our team can help explain information in a way that meets your learning needs. The goal is for you to feel comfortable and confident in your understanding of the information.
3. SUPPORTING YOU DURING PROCEDURES
Let’s face it, no one looks forward to medical procedures, adults included. Our specialists can provide support for procedures to make them less stressful. We can help with pain management, relaxation and coping strategies. We can also help make changes to care to make your experience better and help you feel more comfortable and in control.
4. OFFERING CHOICES, EMPOWERMENT AND SUPPORT
One of the main roles of our team is to support your needs and preferences. We can help you understand what choices you have, find ways you can participate in your care, and share any requests or worries that might come up.
5. INCORPORATING JOY
Our team is most often known for bringing play, fun and joy into your care. This is just as important for adults as it is for children. It could include a visit with a volunteer or facility dog, creating a piece of artwork, joining in a group activity, or talking about a favorite topic or pastime. Our specialists will use your interests to help bring joy to the healthcare setting to support your mental health and wellbeing.