Body

Specialized Hospital Care for your Child

A hospital can be an overwhelming environment for any patient. For children, it can be extremely stressful and scary. Feelings of fear, confusion, loss of control and isolation can occur and have negative effects on a child’s health and recovery. Garnet Health Medical Center provides a Child Life Specialist to assist and support children and their families while seeking services at our facility.

Our Child Life Program seeks to ease fear and uncertainty by familiarizing young children, adolescents and their families with the hospital experience. The Program is designed to help children through a wide variety of stressful experiences that can overpower their natural ability to cope and heal.

What Are The Benefits Of The Child Life Program?

  • Children who are emotionally prepared for medical procedures experience less fear and anxiety, and will adjust more easily to medical challenges.
  • Children in the hospital who engage in therapeutic play with a trained professional exhibit less emotional distress, increased cooperation, and fewer negative physiological responses.
  • Research shows that Child life interventions can increase cooperation and help to reduce procedural and post-procedural pain.
  • Providing support for family members enhances psychosocial outcomes for young patients. A parent or caregiver’s behavior and anxiety levels are strongly correlated with how a child will respond to hospitalization.

Child Life Specialists work with families and other healthcare providers to prepare children for medical procedures or treatment by:

  • Communicating using language that they understand
  • Reducing anxiety and increasing cooperation through coping strategies
  • Providing distractions and support while enhancing a sense of enjoyment through play
  • Promoting family-centered care

Meet Our Child Life Specialist

Headshot of Michelle Ferguson, ORMC's Child Life Specialist

Michelle Ferguson
Child Life Specialist

Ms. Ferguson works closely with pediatric patients and their families to help them effectively cope with their hospital visit or illness through play, preparation, education, distraction and self-expression activities.

She provides emotional support and encouragement throughout a child's hospitalization while providing information, guidance and education about upcoming tests, surgeries or other procedures to all families members.  Working with an interdisciplinary team that may include physicians, nurses and social workers, Ms. Ferguson aims to reduce children's fears and anxieties.

Pediatric Care

Pediatric Care

Garnet Health’s pediatricians and pediatric specialists are dedicated to helping your child achieve good health.

Learn more