March brings St. Patrick’s Day, the first day of spring, March Madness… and Child Life Month! Subscribe to our blog to learn more about child life through this special blog series – we’ll introduce you to our child life team and the patients and families that they serve.
Child life specialists
Among the many medical specialists, researchers and pediatric experts at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR), stands a group dedicated to helping kids be kids, even while in the hospital. Enter child life specialists, pediatric trained health care professionals that support the developmental, emotional and therapeutic needs of children undergoing medical treatment, while also providing the comfort and support families need. Child life specialists work with children and families in the hospital and other health care settings to help them cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness, and disability. With clinical experience and a strong background in child development, early childhood education or family systems, child life specialists promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expression activities.*
Learn more about child life at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR).
Siri Bream is a certified child life specialist who has been enhancing the hospital experience for children and families at CHoR since 2008. Wondering what all those letters behind her name mean?
MS: Masters in child development
CCLS: Certified child life specialist
CEIM: Certified educator of infant massage
CPST: Certified child passenger safety technician
From therapeutic play and non-pharmaceutical pain management – to infant massage education and procedure preparation – Siri does it all – and more.
Q & A with Siri
Q: How long have you worked at CHoR?
Since June 2008… crazy how time flies!
Q: Where do you work at CHoR?
I cover the progressive care, burn and perioperative units.
Q: Why did you decide to become a child life specialist?
When I learned about the child life profession I knew it was a career that would be full of challenges and hardships – but I also knew I would be able to help children and families find a strength in themselves to make the their hospital experience as positive as possible. I knew in the end it was going to be an honor to be part of their journey.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
It’s extremely rewarding to see a child successfully cope with a procedure that they previously struggled with. It’s also amazing to watch their confidence grow over time as they realize what they are capable of overcoming.
Important stuff kids want to know…
Q: What’s your favorite children’s book?
I can’t name just one! Animalia and Goodnight Moon (for younger kids); The Little Prince and The Boxcar Children (for older kids).
Q: What’s your favorite color?
Blue… specifically Crayola’s cerelean blue 🙂
Q: What’s your favorite food?
Does Diet Coke count?
Has Siri or another child life specialist at CHoR made a difference in your child’s life? Share your story below.
*References: Child Life Council