Posts in Child Life Heroes
Child Life Heroes: Child Life in Kenya (Part Two)

In August, Morgan Livingstone, Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) and Child Life Director of World Eye Cancer Hope Charity, made her annual trip to Eldoret, Kenya for the child life training that she hosts for the Sally Test Child Life Program at Shoe4Africa Hospital (Kenya’s only public pediatric hospital) within Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. Among the many child life resources and materials she brought along with her, SpellBound was one of them. Morgan thought it’d be a wonderful idea to introduce the technology to the seven child life specialists there to use with patients, and we agreed.

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Child Life Heroes: Child Life in Kenya (Part One)

In August, Morgan Livingstone, Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) and Child Life Director of World Eye Cancer Hope Charity, packed her bags and headed to Eldoret, Kenya for the annual child life training that she hosts for the Sally Test Child Life Program at Shoe4Africa Hospital (Kenya’s only public pediatric hospital) within Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. If you read our past blog post about how Morgan has cultivated a child life program in Kenya, you know how much work, time, and energy she has devoted into making this possible. She’s incredibly passionate about nurturing and supporting the growth of locally sustainable child life programs within Kenyan Healthcare.

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A Child Life Student's View of the Profession

Child life is a growing field and we’re seeing the profession expand into more areas like disaster relief, private practice, and assisting during traumatic events. Even so, it’s still a very competitive field and more individuals are studying to become child life specialists. With this, we hope that there will be a continuous increase in the amount of avenues that aspiring child life specialists can utilize their skills. Here’s one child life student’s perspective:

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Cultivating Child Life in Kenya

While the child life profession is gaining more popularity in North America and other, more Westernized countries, there are still many areas of the world that don’t have access to child life services. Just recently, we featured a blog post on paving the way for Child Life in Japan, the largest child life presence in Asia with 50 certified child life specialists (CCLSs). 50 may not seem like much in comparison to the thousands of child life specialists in the US, but it’s still significant compared to the areas that have none. This is why we need dedicated child life specialists who are passionate about building global child life programs from the ground up and advocates to support them.

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Child Life Heroes: Paving the Way in Japan

Child life is a fast-growing field in North America, but it’s also catching on in other countries around the world. Hospitals, schools, and organizations spanning the globe are recognizing the ways that child life specialists can help kids. Being based in the United States, we may be familiar with what child life looks like in North America, but child life in other countries has some significant differences. Eriko Miura is a certified child life specialist (CCLS) at St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo, Japan, and she has first-hand insight about some of these differences. Her child life story starts as a second year psychology student in college.

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Child Life Heroes: Navigating the Child Life Journey

Becoming a certified child life specialist (CCLS) is hard work. It takes a lot of schooling, training, preparation, and dedication to get the certification and the job. But it’s worth it because child life specialists make a huge impact in the lives of kids and families each day. To get a better perspective of the process of becoming a CCLS, I asked Ashley Bain, a child life student, about her current child life internship and the advice she has for those navigating the child life journey.

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Child Life Heroes: Continuing the Work Through Blogging

After years of training and professional experience in child life, child life specialists build up a amazing amount of specialized skills and knowledge that can help others in their field. In recent years, blogging has provided an effective platform for child life specialists to share their best practices and insights with their peers and to learn about the field. When Dawn Klausmeier, CCLS (certified child life specialist), C-CISM (certified critical incident stress management), transitioned into staying at home with her two kids in 2017, she decided to continue her child life work by sharing her knowledge through blogging. I recently asked her about her experience as a child life specialist and how she uses her blog, Dose of Play, to support others.

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Child Life Heroes: A One-Person Show

How would you balance working in the pediatric inpatient unit and outpatient oncology clinic, teaching a pre-surgery class four days a week, and providing after-hours cerebral palsy patient support once a month? Alexandria Friesen, Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS), is doing just that as a one-person child life program at Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. I had the opportunity to ask her a bit more about her unique experiences of being the only CCLS in the hospital.

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Child Life Heroes: Child Life Month Feature

This Child Life Month, we hosted a nomination-based giveaway for child life specialists to nominate their colleagues and give recognition for their work. Emily Kittell, Certified Child Life Specialist at American Family Children’s Hospital, was the winning nominee. Emily’s nominator, Kristen Lawrence, spoke highly of how she has worked in a variety of different hospital settings and has impacted many patients and families, so I was excited to learn more about her role and experience as a CCLS.

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Child Life Heroes: "My Favorite Person In The Hospital"

Twenty years ago, the Child Life program had just launched at Providence Children’s Hospital (PCH) in El Paso, TX, but the current Child Life Specialist was about to leave the hospital for another position. As he was wrapping up his time at PCH, he asked a volunteer at the hospital named Peggy Schuster if she’d be interested in working as a Child Life Specialist. Peggy thought about it and said “OK, I’ll try it.” Little did she know how much she’d grow to love her new line of work.

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Child Life Heroes: Overcoming Challenges with Play

“It was awful. Screaming, yelling, trying to bite, kick, and punch.” Michelle watched as the boy did everything he could to escape doing his physical therapy exercises. She wasn’t sure how to help, but she needed to figure out something quickly.

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Child Life Heroes: Serving Patients Under Pressure

One four-year-old boy and his mom will forever be grateful for Brindi Dalton. Brindi is a certified child life specialist (CCLS) at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, and one day she was visiting this little boy’s patient room.

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