Press Release

IU Health Arnett Hospital to offer Child Life Program

May 30, 2018

Indiana University Health Arnett now offers a Child Life program in the emergency department. Certified Child Life specialists are trained professionals with advanced education in child life, child health, child development and/or related fields. Child Life also provides support services for pediatric inpatients and surgical patients.

Children learn socialization, communication skills and coping strategies through play organized by the knowledge and understanding people who invest in their needs. Child Life specialists work with children and families to help ease stress and anxiety during a hospital stay. They are able to prepare and help children cope with medical procedures in a variety of ways, including developmentally appropriate discussion, pictures, sounds, distraction, and play. Through play, child life specialists are able to aid in decreasing apprehension children may have while in a medical setting.   

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“By creating an environment that promotes healing and a sense of normalcy, children can better cope with their health care experiences,” stated Olivia Rauschenbach, certified child life specialist. “Our child life program utilizes therapeutic activities, psychological preparation, procedural support, play and collaboration with the medical team to provide the best care and support for your children.”  

“In 2017, the emergency department provided care for roughly 8,000 children. Seeing a volume of this amount encouraged us to move forward with providing extra resources and support for children and their families,” stated Brad Jordan, administrative director of emergency services.  

Child life specialists understand the impact that injury and illness can have a on a child’s development and are available to assist children in identifying coping skills for these adverse events. Understanding what is happening and how to express their feelings makes a trip to the hospital less frightening for children and their families.  

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