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Child Life Month – Meet Kelsey

Published by , on Mar 23, 2015

Next up in our Child Life Month series

Meet Kelsey Williams, MS, CCLS

Return to Richmond

The team at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) is excited to have certified child life specialist, Kelsey Williams, back on campus! Kelsey completed her practicum at CHoR in July 2013 before heading to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to complete her child life internship. Kelsey’s education and clinical experience have prepared her to support families during a medical crisis, prepare children for surgery, and to just help kids be kids in the hospital.


Helping the medicine go down

Sometimes younger children and teens (and even adults) have difficulty swallowing pills. Like many supportive aspects of child life, helping a child learn to swallow pills can provide a great source of accomplishment and empowerment. Kelsey uses various pill swallowing techniques to help the medicine go down:

  • Straws

  • Special pill swallowing cups

  • Demonstrating ways for a child to hold their head, tongue and throat

  • Practicing swallowing with different sizes of candy – starting with a sprinkle and advancing towards larger candy like a Tic Tac

  • Visualizations like ‘imagining a raft on a water slide’

In her short time at CHoR, Kelsey has become a resource for children who have difficulty swallowing pills – and to their health care team. In some cases the ability to swallow a pill can help a child feel better – or even enable them to go home!

Q & A with Kelsey

Q: How long have you worked at CHoR?
I started the new year out at CHoR. I’ve been here for two months.

Q: What’s your educational background?
I have a Master of Science in Elementary Education.

Q: Where do you work at CHoR?
I cover the acute care unit for children ages 4 and up. 

Q: Why did you decide to become a child life specialist?
I’ve always loved working with kids, but once I found child life, I knew it was meant to be! Working with kids and families in the hospital is like no other career I could have chosen. It’s amazing to have the opportunity to make some of the hardest times in our families’ lives just a little bit easier.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
The smiles!

Important stuff kids want to know…

Q: What’s your favorite children’s book?
We Are in a Book and Honey, I Love

Q: What’s your favorite color?
Green (I’m even wearing green today!)

Q: What’s your favorite food?
Macaroni and cheese


Has Kelsey or another child life specialist at CHoR made a difference in your child’s life? Share your story below.

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