This position will be able to meet all the core competencies set forth by the Child Life Council and use these competencies as a guide for his/her practice. This position assesses the emotional, developmental, educational and diversionary needs of hospitalized children and coordinates the therapeutic interventions to address the medical, procedural, surgical and diagnostic experiences of patients and families. Plans and implements programs and services to meet the needs identified for assigned clinical populations and the child life department. Promotes and practices the delivery of high quality family-centered care and services for patients and families.
- Bachelor’s degree in Child Development, Child Life, Psychology or related field.
- Child Life Certification.
- Obtain certification in Basic Life Support within 30 days of hire date.
- Master’s degree in Child Life Development, Child Life, Psychology or related field preferred.
- Professional child life experience in a hospital environment strongly preferred.
CORE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- The statements described here are intended to describe the general nature of work being performed by people assigned to this position. They are not intended to be constructed as an all-inclusive list of all responsibilities and duties. Other duties may be assigned.
- Prepares and executes an individualized therapeutic care plan for the developmental and psychosocial well-being of the child to promote healthy coping.
- Applies child life interventions (e.g. legacy building, needle play, medical play, diagnostic teaching, treatment compliance, death and bereavement) aimed towards mastery of medical experiences.
- Makes developmentally-appropriate preparations for medical experiences of patients and families to encourage the expression of feelings, healthy adaptation and coping mechanism development.
- May accompany child to procedure and surgery experiences to incorporate pre-planned coping strategies as well as diversionary and guided imagery techniques.
- Selects therapeutic activities, materials, and equipment that foster intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth.
- Creates, oversees and facilitates playroom programming; identifies ways to enhance expressive opportunities and optimize peer relationships within established limits.
- Examines behaviors and modifies care plan in response to behavior, development, and limitations utilizing approved methods of discipline.
- Coordinates normalization activities for patients (holiday celebrations, entertainment, visiting groups and community recreational activities).
- Assesses the needs of the patient and family members for education on the impact of illness, visitation, support and development.
- Involves and communicates with the patient and family to support the goals of the health care team and match with the expectations and values of the family.
- Advocates for the opportunities for parents to maintain their parenting role.
- Assists with the identification and utilization of research to accommodate cultural, environmental, and language needs.
- Participates and/or initiates studies which advance the mission and goals of the educational mission of West Virginia University School of Medicine and/or highlight and advance the mission and vision of the Child Life profession defined by the Child Life Council.
- Serves as a resource for state-wide outreach and education regarding child life and child life development by speaking at conferences, school systems, and local clinics.
- Offers skills and expertise to children’s camps. (Examples: Heart Camp, HEM/ONC Camp, Diabetes Camp, etc.)
- Collects statistical data based upon required templates.
- Evaluates departmental activities and makes recommendations for improvement.
- Maintains program expenditures within the budgetary limits.
- Maintains affiliation and networks with the Child Life professional organization and other related organizations.
- Participates in and provides in-service training throughout the institution relative to practice areas.
- Participates in program activities to promote efficient operations, including scheduling, flexing of hours and assignments, attendance at unit-based meetings and using peer collaboration.
- Participates to ensure overall success of assigned department and institutional projects and events including communication and evaluation.
- Provides guidance and instruction to interns, volunteers and shadowing opportunities.
- Oversees and provides educational in-services for child life practicum students.
- Participates in daily rounds, patient care conferences and hospital committee meetings.
- Provides consultation to and collaborates with medical/patient care team.
- Provides in-services to hospital staff regarding Child Life principles and works with other departments to coordinate institutional events and clinical presentations.
- Coordinates the therapeutic plans with the healthcare team through communication and documentation.
SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- Must be able to implement therapeutic play activities for individuals and group.
- Must be able to assess patient behavior.
- Must possess knowledge of infant, child, adolescent growth and development.
- Must possess knowledge of children’s reactions and copying mechanisms in hospitalization and illness.
- Must possess strong organizational skills, energetic, creative, and enjoy working with children.
- Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
- Knowledge and skills in basic computer programs such as Word and Excel.