Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

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GUIDE to Children's Hospital
For Patients and Families
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Our Services

Child life specialists work with patients and families to reduce the stress and anxiety that may be associated with the health care experience. They work to meet developmental, psychosocial, educational, and emotional needs of patients and families by:

  • Promoting normal growth and development through play and activity rooms.
  • Providing opportunities to help children enhance their self-esteem and retain appropriate independence.
  • Advocating for non-medical needs of patients and families.
  • Increasing patients' and families’ understanding of hospital experiences.

Childlife specialist with baby

In order to address social, emotional and psychological needs, Child Life offers the following services:
  • Preparing children, teens and families for hospitalization, procedures, and surgeries in ways they can understand.
  • Coordinating a pre-operative visit to help prepare your child for surgery. View our online pre-surgery tour for patients and parents.
  • Providing psychological preparation before medical procedures to help patients and families better understand the hospital experience.
  • Providing emotional support during and after procedures or stressful events.
  • Providing opportunities for medical play, helping children better understand the health care experience by addressing misconceptions and answering questions about their experiences.
  • Providing play opportunities and peer interactions in the playroom, the adolescent activity room and at bedside.
  • Providing sibling support, including education regarding patient’s diagnosis, treatment, and the hospital environment.
  • Advocating for family-centered-care.
  • Offering emotional support to parents, siblings, and other family members.
  • Coordinating holiday, entertainment, donations, and special visitor events.
  • Facilitating school re-entry.
  • Coordinating volunteers to give families breaks, help provide infant stimulation, and play activities for patients.

For an age by age description of the developmental needs of children receiving medical care, click here. It provides practical information that may help increase a child's coping skills and decrease anxiety.

Last Edited: February 5, 2013
Valued Participant of Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network