Child Life Specialist
Coping with acute and chronic illness and injury can be challenging and stressful for infants, children, youth, and their families. Some might experience fear, confusion, loss of control, and isolation, all of which have the potential to inhibit their development and ability to cope effectively.
Certified Child Life Specialists understand the developmental impact of illness and injury and the potentially traumatic events that can impact a patient’s ability to cope. You might see child life specialists participating in the following activities.
- Assessing the developmental and psychological needs of infants, children, and youth
- Initiating and maintaining meaningful and therapeutic relationships with patients and families
- Providing opportunities for engagement with therapeutic play
- Creating safe, therapeutic, and healing environments
- Supporting patients and their families in coping with stress
- Providing education and preparation for potentially stressful experiences
- Collaborating with other professionals to promote the overall wellness and satisfaction of infants, children, and youth and their families
Utilizing a variety of interventions, child life specialists strive to reduce fear, anxiety, and pain in hopes of improving the overall experience of patients and their families.
Are you interested in joining the exciting and dynamic field of child life?
If so, the faculty and staff of the Department of Counseling and Human Services at East Tennessee State University encourage you to consider the Child Life Concentration within the Undergraduate Human Services Major. The following courses are included within the concentration to help students meet the academic requirements of the Association of Child Life Professionals for eventual certification as child life specialists.
- HDAL 2001 – Introduction to Child Life
- HDAL 3001 – The Hospitalized Child
- ECED 2110 – Infant/Toddler/Child Development
- HDAL 2330 – Adolescent Psychology
- HDAL 4001 – Family Theories
- HDAL 4897 – Therapeutic Play in Child Life
- COBH 4357 – Thanatology
- HDAL 4666 – Cultural Influences in Development
- COBH 2750 – Medical Terminology
- ECED 3150 – Creative Development of Young Children
- HDAL 4610 – Practicum in Child Life
After graduating from ETSU, students will need to secure an internship placement and complete 600 clinical hours under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist. Upon successfully completing the internship, students will be required to sit for and pass the certification exam. These steps must be completed to be achieve certification as a child life specialist. More information about becoming certified as a child life specialist can be found here.
For more information about the B. S. in Human Services -Child Life Specialist, please contact
Dr. Mary Langenbrunner at firstname.lastname@example.org
See the following links for more information:
- Child Life Council
- A day in the life of a Child Life Specialist video
- East Tennessee Children's Hospital Child Life
- West Tennessee Healthcare Child Life Specialist