Child Life Services at Children's of Mississippi
At Children's of Mississippi, our Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) are members of the healthcare team who specialize in helping children and families cope with stressors related to illness, hospitalization, and trauma. Each of our child life specialists holds a bachelor's or master's level degree, has completed training through a child life clinical internship, and maintains certification through the Child Life Certification Commission.
How Child Life Services Support Our Patients
- Help kids feel more at ease in the hospital
For some children, just being inside a hospital can make them feel afraid or anxious. The normal act of playing can help children and teens cope with hospital stays and medical treatments. Our team of child life professionals provides children with opportunities for therapeutic and developmental play, giving patients positive outlets for coping and self-expression.
- Explain what to expect
Unknowns related to treatments and procedures can cause anxiety in anyone, especially children. Our Certified Child Life Specialists prepare children and families for what's ahead. This may include teaching children about upcoming procedures or facilitating medical play sessions to help patients process their diagnoses and treatment plans. Medical play helps children become more familiar with medical equipment, clarify any misconceptions, and support their self-confidence.
- Provide support during specific procedures
Child life specialists work with children to develop coping plans for medical procedures. Coping plans provide children and teens with a sense of control, help identify and lessen fears, and promote positive experiences in the medical setting. Child life specialists are also available to accompany and support children during medical procedures, using distraction techniques, breathing exercises, and guided imagery.
- Comfort in times of loss
The death of a loved one is a life altering event that affects the entire family. In times of grief, child life specialists work closely with children, siblings, and family members to help them understand and cope. They focus on capturing treasured memories, providing outlets for self-expression, and offering resources for ongoing support.
To learn about volunteering within our Child Life program, visit our Volunteers page.
For information about donating items for our patients, visit umc.edu/inkinddonations or email email@example.com.
The child life department currently has limited availability to host in-person community events for patients, and our available patient event slots are full at this time. Please check back at a later date. For event guidelines and application, click here.
Child Life Student Opportunities
Children's of Mississippi Child Life Internship
Children's of Mississippi offers a comprehensive, 600 hour, 15-week internship program designed to prepare interns for certification and a career as a child life specialist. Children’s of Mississippi supports The Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) Internship Guidelines, and we are using the ACLP Internship Readiness Common Application. Our internship session is in the Spring semester.
*All applicants must be enrolled within an affiliated academic program at a college or university, receiving credit hours for the internship. A contract between the hospital and college/university must be established prior to the start of the internship.
ACLP Deadlines and Offer Dates
Children's of Mississippi follows the ACLP application deadline and offer dates found here