Join us in welcoming the newest member of our child life team!
Meet Chelsea Preuss, CCLS
Chelsea might be a new face at CHoR, but her enthusiasm and dedication are making her well known!
It takes a special kind of person to support and advocate for children and families in the hospital. While Chelsea’s education and internship prepared her for a career in child life, her childhood experiences have provided her with invaluable insight into what patients and families go through physically, mentally and emotionally in medical situations.
Chelsea was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 6-years-old. “I was in the hospital for a week during the month of July, and it was miserable knowing that I was stuck in the hospital while all of my friends were outside playing,” said Chelsea.
”I was the only kid in my small town hospital at the time, so it was very strange not only because I was in the hospital, but also because there was no one there like me.”
Chelsea’s hospital did not have a child life program, but she was fortunate enough to have nurses who went above and beyond to make her feel like a normal kid – and to help her cope during a stressful time. Those caring nurses are what pushed Chelsea to choose a career that would enable her to help other children.
”As a young kid I was able to see that the hospital didn’t need to be such a scary place. My experience shaped who I am today and mostly because it was a positive (minus the whole diabetes thing) experience. I had people in my corner making sure that I was alright and that I was able to cope. I have been poked more times than anyone ever cares to be, so I know how it feels to be a kid in a stressful medical situation. I know the importance of being a part of your health care journey and not just letting it happen to you.”
Chelsea’s nurses understood that she needed to be cared for medically, emotionally and developmentally – and that’s the same level of care she’ll help provide to patients and families at CHoR.
Q & A with Chelsea
Q: How long have you worked at CHoR?
Less than one month.
Q: Where do you work at CHoR?
I cover the acute care infant and toddler unit.
Q: Why did you decide to become a child life specialist?
I know how hard it can be to be a kid in the hospital, and I want to help kids remember that even though they are in the hospital it is still important to just be a kid – that includes playing like a kid! I want to help children and their families have the most positive experience they can, given the circumstances.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing the face of a child and knowing I made a difference.
Important stuff kids want to know…
Q: What’s your favorite children’s book?
Mr. Grumpy’s Outing
Current favorite: The Day the Crayons Quit
Q: What’s your favorite color?
Tough decision – red or navy blue
Q: What’s your favorite food?
That’s a tough one! Probably fresh picked strawberries or pineapple.
Has Chelsea or another child life specialist at CHoR made a difference in your child’s life? Share your story below.