Child Life & Expressive Therapies uses evidence-based practice to minimize your child's stress during care. We embrace the value of play as we enhance growth and development of infants, children and adolescents.
Our team normalizes your child's environment and reduces stress of medical experiences by providing the following services.
A Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) prepares you and your child for upcoming procedures. We use picture preparation books, teaching dolls and hands-on medical play so your child feels informed and prepared. This visual preparation sets expectations for your child. They learn what they will see, hear, feel and taste.
Coping and support
A CCLS can support you and your child during medical procedures. We assess each patient so we can offer coping and distraction techniques that are developmentally appropriate for your child, like deep breathing.
Comfort positioning encourages parent involvement during procedures while decreasing need for staff restraint. We train parents to provide a variety of "hug" holds. These allow your child to be in an upright position while engaging in coping techniques and distraction.
This technique can be used in a variety of procedures to decrease you and your child's fear and anxiety.
Play gives your child a sense of control and helps to normalize their environment. We use bedside and group activities to provide socialization and age-appropriate play opportunities.
CCLSs use medical play pre- and post-procedure to help your child understand and master their medical experiences. During medical play, we use medical teaching dolls, medical equipment, medical models and art materials. These tools help your child become familiar with the unknown.
Pet therapy enhances positive physical, cognitive, emotional and social interactions. Specially trained and certified dogs are scheduled to visit at bedside and in group settings.
Board certified music therapists offer goal-specific support and interventions including songwriting, active playing, listening, improvisation, singing, movement and relaxation exercises. Our music therapists offer bedside interactions and group sessions.
Children of adult patients
We're also available for children of adult patients in our adult medical and surgical intensive care units (MICU and SICU), adult oncology and palliative care. Our team can provide preparation and coping techniques for children who have ill parents.
CCLSs are consulted to see patients in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Surgery and Emergency. Our services are available seven days a week.
Outpatient CCLSs are responsible for providing procedural preparation and emotional support to help patients cope with stress of a clinic experience.
Our team provides services through Marshfield Clinic, including sedation, radiology and ambulatory surgery.
If your child needs preparation or support for outpatient procedures or ambulatory surgery, please contact your primary health care provider and request Child Life & Expressive Therapies.
Hero-of-the-Month – Kids Wish Network
Hero-of-the-Month program recognizes little heroes who have faced difficult experiences.