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Northwell Health Child Life Specialist-Pre-Surgical Testing in New Hyde Park, New York

Req Number 002AID

Job Description

Implements a psychosocial program which fosters emotional, developmental, intellectual and physical growth of children in the hospital environment and outpatient setting. Orients hospital staff to the psychosocial needs of children and their families and fosters positive hospital community relations.

Responsibilities Include:

Provides a program of psychosocial care for children and families designed to reduce stress, increase adaptive coping, and enhance developmental integrity by offering opportunities to play, learn, and interact with others in an emotionally and physically safe environment.

  • Uses developmentally appropriate play experiences as a primary tool in assessing and meeting the child's psychosocial needs in the health-care setting.

  • Provides varied activities matching patient's condition and need.

  • Sets-up and organizes activity areas, and provides design input for patient areas, to promote use, orientation, and personalization, and provide comfort and security.

  • Creates a welcoming environment. Greets and introduces self and role upon initial contact with patient/family.

  • Refers appropriate patients to hospital school.

Provides opportunities for and facilitates play and activities which promote self-healing, self-expression, understanding and mastery in an individual and group setting.

  • Recognizes and addresses the importance of therapeutic play in facilitating child's mastery and coping with the health-care experience (i.e., medical play, creative arts).

  • Allows patient/family to make choices and decisions to maximize feelings of control (i.e., what position is most comfortable, what coping technique to utilize, what toy to hold).

Develops a plan-of-care based on assessment of child's development, temperament, coping style, medical plan and available social support using therapeutic play as a diagnostic and treatment tool.

  • Uses knowledge of patient/family coping styles, learning styles and needs based on developmental level, emotional state, cultural and religious practices, physical, cognitive limitations and language barrier.

  • Identifies basic principles of family-centered care and demonstrates the application of these in the plan of care.

Interprets the child's perception of his/her diagnosis and treatment as revealed through play and other means of communication. Provides emotional support and stress reduction techniques during identified stress points. Records patient care information in the medical record and or the daily census sheets. Share information with the care giving team.

  • Assesses response to illness, hospitalization and/or treatment.

  • Identifies stress reduction techniques and is able to identify stress points.

  • Participates in interdisciplinary care planning.

  • Documents interdisciplinary and family collaboration, patient/family education, and age-specific care plan.

  • Compiles and organizes daily and monthly statistics using daily assessment tool.

Offers support and counsel to family members to assist with their adaptation to the child's illness and health-care experiences and deal with their own stress and needs. Provides orientation to health-care experiences and personnel. Provides preparation for medical and surgical procedures.

  • Identifies and mobilizes resources as necessary for developmental intervention, procedural/surgical preparation, medical play, coping education and family support.

  • Identifies teaching, materials and techniques for different age groups and learning needs.

  • Provides orientation/teaching/preparation to patient and family regarding health-care experiences and personnel.

  • Refers appropriate patients for adjunct services (i.e., parenting programs, support groups, counseling).

Performs related duties, as required.


  • Bachelor's Degree in Child Life, Child Development, or related field, required. Master's degree, preferred.

  • Completion of a 480 hour internship, required.

  • Child Life certification must be obtained within 18 months of date of hire.