The Child Life Department at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center recognizes that hospitalization and illness are stressful events in the lives of children and their families. Therefore Child Life specialists work as part of the medical team to promote optimal child development and minimize the stress of hospitalization for families. In an effort to promote a positive learning experience for children, Child Life specialists facilitate coping and adjustment in circumstances that might otherwise be overwhelming.
Each Child Life specialist holds bachelor and/or master degree(s) in child development, psychology, or related areas, and is professionally certified through the National Child Life Council.
As the only hospital in central Oklahoma to offer Child Life services, The Children's Hospital is dedicated to the healing of the whole child and focused on the physical as well as psychosocial well-being of our patients.
Services provided by Child Life
Child Life specialists are assigned to most patient care areas. Parents and caregivers should ask their nurse or physician for referral to a Child Life specialist.
Hospital Orientation for Children In order to lessen anxiety in children prior to hospitalization Child Life offers free educational sessions to prepare children and their families. This includes a tour of applicable areas, age appropriate explanations of medical events, and therapeutic/medical play for hands-on learning. To schedule a session with a Child Life specialist please call the Child Life Department at 405-271-4952.
Preparation for Surgery Child Life specialists are also available to prepare children and families for what to expect the day of surgery. Explanation of surgical information in language children can understand prior to surgery has shown to reduce fear and anxiety about surgery and to help children recover more quickly than those who are not given age appropriate information. Watch a quick video to guide you through the surgery preparation process on the outpatient surgery page. To schedule a pre-surgical tour please call 405-271-4952 ext. 3.
Beginning in 2014, we will offer an internship in the spring and fall semesters and a practicum only in the summer.
Our department offers two student programs. The Child Life Practicum program takes place in the summer and fall semesters (May-Aug) & (Sept-Dec). Learn More About the Practicum Program. The Child Life Internship program takes place during the spring semester (Jan-May) -- Learn More About the Internship Program.
Please check the applications for deadline dates: Download Practicum Application or Download Internship Application. If you have any questions regarding student programs please contact Erin Bailey, Child Life Manager, at (405) 271-4952, ext. 2, or read Frequenty Asked Questions about Child Life student programs.
Have you ever heard of a child life specialist or the field of child life? Would you be interested in learning more about the child life profession? Are you currently a student wondering if your degree program will allow you to become a child life specialist? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Child Life 101 is for you! Learn more about the Child Life 101 educational session and download the application.
Please join us for our next Child Life 101 session on Thursday, October 24, 2013.
Our department also offers a Child Life Fellowship. The Fellowship is an opportunity for further learning and growing as a child life specialist once a child life internship has been completed. It is a one-year paid position that usually starts in the fall. The position is posted in late spring and the application can be located at www.oumedicine.com under the career center section. Learn More About the Fellowship Program. If you have any questions regarding the Fellowship please contact Erin Bailey, CCLS, at (405) 271-4952, ext. 2, or read the Frequently Asked Questions.
How You Can Help
Our patients and families benefit greatly when community groups and individuals give time, energy and creativity to support The Children's Hospital. If you are interested in dedicating time to volunteer or would like to find ways to support the Child Life department through events, activities or patient projects please visit our Children's Hospital Volunteer page or Support Children's page.
Thank you to all who made opening The Zone possible! Modeled after the past Aikman's Endzone, it is a special haven for child patients and siblings, where they can play, explore, learn, socialize and forget the worries of hospitalization. Learn more by reading this article from Norman Living magazine or by watching a video from the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids website. We have been thrilled to provide play time and relaxing activities in The Zone since March of 2010, and we anticipate serving nearly 17,000 hospitalized children and families in our first year. Wow - that's a lot of crayons, books & video games!! If you would like to help support programming in The Zone, The Children's Hospital Volunteers is a 501(c)(3) organization that accepts financial contributions on its behalf.
Child Life Department
The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center
1200 Everett Drive
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104