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Old 09-03-2011, 09:42 AM
1 posts, read 2,813 times
Reputation: 10


The salary you are quoting is immensely high. I am getting into child life as a profession after three wonderful years of volunteering. My position as a volunteer is limited because I know there is much more training required for me to be equipped to help prep kids for procedures and to help with the bereavement process, and that in order to do these kinds of things there needs to be liability insurance over me that is not required with just keeping the kids company as a volunteer. Insurance costs money. How many volunteers do you know willing to pay that just to volunteer?

Additionally, back to the high salary, I am going into this with the expectations of the equivalent to a teacher's salary. I read an article not to long ago about that salary too. It talked about how teachers are just overpaid babysitters and broke down the salary by hours per day, and guess what? It turns out babysitters are paid more than teachers for the job that they do at an hourly wage.

It's not about the money anyways. I could make just 10,000 a year and have to work part time jobs elsewhere and still be happy with going into the Child Life Specialist career.

It sounds like you just had a very sour experience at your local hospital and are taking it out on others.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:18 PM
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Reputation: 19
I'm sure this won't actually get read since this thread is so old, but I ran across this thread last night while considering pursuing a child life career and after getting all excited thinking I had finally found what could be my niche in the world Broadanon had to go and bum me out. I'm a highschool student, so I obviously am not a certified child life specialist, but ,Broadanon, to have the audacity to attack someone's career and passion in life is disgusting!
Ironically, I just ran across this verse and it made me think of you so I wanted to come back and post this in hopes you might somehow see it...

"... We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is
prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is
teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the
needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is
showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully...Love must be sincere. Hate is evil; cling to what is
good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope,
patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice
hospitality...Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who
rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but
be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be concieted..."
- Romans 12:6-16

I feel like that is justification towards the CLS occupation and the reason why it irks me so that you attacked this profession. Doctors and CLS's have totally different gifts and callings, just because they work in the same building doesn't mean a CLS wishes they were a doctor but were to lazy to become one. So how dare you criticize the gifts that God gave to certain people and the path that they've persued in their life?
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Old 10-30-2011, 12:27 AM
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Excellent post. We can't all be computer programmers. I worked with child life specialists and found them to be very important in working with families struggling with a child with a disability, or providing valuable information to parents about children developmental stages. This is an important job. And a good one if you like kids.
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:53 PM
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Were you ever in the hospital as a chil for weeks on in? Were you ever so scared that maybe you may never leave that bed? I don't think you have but I have been there and the people in child life made my time there so much easier. Don't judge something unless you know what the exactly do. They make a scary moment not seem so bad and for a child that means alot cause the parents can't always do that because they themselves are scared for their child. They also helped my brother understand what i was going through what they do is an amazing thing.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:14 AM
Location: anywhere & everywhere
285 posts, read 777,001 times
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Originally Posted by CTKel View Post
Broadanon, it seems you have something against child life specialists and also do not know much about what we do. Your post reeks of ignorance of the profession, but I'll address just a couple of points.

Play with kids all day? That's funny. Let me tell you about a day in the life of my child life job... attend morning meeting to discuss all patients coming to clinic and all inpatients. Who has what issues going on? Clinic always begins with procedures. Distract kids while getting ports accessed. Explain anesthesia to a three year old in a way she can understand. Practice putting an IV in a doll with a five year old so he gains mastery over the procedure and it isn't so scary. Convince anesthesiologist to let six year old push anesthesia to give her some control... it works, and she doesn't freak out when going to sleep. Find out about new diagnosis. Tell a seven year old she has leukemia, what leukemia is, what is going to happen, all in words she can understand. Teach her about a PICC line insertion and stay with her through procedure providing distraction and relaxation exercises. Explain to same child that she will be admitted to the hospital. Explain chemotherapy. Address common misconceptions for this age (can you name those? A background in child development lets you immediately realize what a seven year old is likely to be concerned about.) Rush over to 14 year old experiencing anxiety. Provide guided imagery, talk about what he can do for himself to help cope. He's not sleeping at night and he's scared of dying. Talk about fears and reality. Teach coping techniques. Find several 6-8 year olds in playroom, wanting to play a game about cancer. Play game, which dissolves into lengthy discussion about returning to school with no hair and being bullied. Listen to concerns and advise kids. Talk about redoing school visits. Discussion turns, and decide to make blood soup with the kids for a reminder on why hair falls out on chemo. Talk about cells and how chemo gets rid of the cancer cells and the good cells.

Oh, play! How could I forget play? Drag out cloth dolls, markers, and medical supplies. Let kids decorate cloth dolls with faces and clothes and any booboos. Supervise free play with medical supplies. Figure out misconceptions by listening. Hear the three year old tell his doll he's getting medicine because he was bad. Address that misconception; explain why child gets medicine and remind child that nothing he did or didn't do caused this. Two year old afraid of oral syringe finally picks one up and pretends to use it correctly with doll. Baby steps, but this is a victory.

And that's all before 11 am. The rest of the day could include a visit to a patient's school to explain cancer, why their classmate will look different, how to keep classmate safe upon return to school, etc. Reassure a kindergarten class that they will not catch leukemia from their friend, and a fifth grade class that their classmate is doing well and that he is not actually dying, like they think. Or I could spend it on the inpatient unit, with a patient on hospice, making a memory box and doing handprints, or helping the siblings to understand death and say goodbye. Or I could have an intense discussion with a 12 year old resisting her meds, to find out that she is ready to stop and knows that means death.

Does that all still sound easy to you? If so, why aren't you doing it?

This has been a long enough post; I will address more in the next.
I have heard of this profession but didnt know much about it. Kudos for breaking it down. Sounds tough but rewarding, I'm sure.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:26 PM
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Why don’t people know about Child Life Specialists as much as they do about doctors or nurses if they are as important? I'm writing a paper about how they should be recognized for the work that they do, and the question of why they aren't came up.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:00 PM
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To broadanon:
I think you are very insecure of your job and maybe you didn't go to college and feel you are "just as good", but you are clearly just taking something that has happened to you our on this profession. If Dr.'s and nurses treat you like crap at your volunteer job then maybe you should quit and let someone who isn't so insecure do it. Just a thought...
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:59 AM
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We have Child Life Specialists here in our Children's Hospital and they are a pain in the arse. They get in the way of treatment by trying to distract the child with music or song..it's annoying to everyone but the CLS. lol Trying moving a pt in a bed down to surgery while trying to talk to the parent and the child and there's this 'person' singing songs and basically getting in the way all the way there.

When my dd was a pt here, I had to physically remove one from her room. They just wouldn't leave. They just kept going on with this nonsense and trying to tell me how to parent my child. I think I know my child better than some yahoo strumming on a guitar. ::::::major eyeroll::::: FYI: That child was 17 and about to have her first surgery and wanted honest answers and this yahoo wanted me to lie to her about the IVs and the surgery itself.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:06 AM
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i know this post is two years old but I wanted to voice out that my daughter has lived in the hospital for almost a year due to prematurity. However it was the child life specialist that has allowed my daughter to thrive. She has not only "played" with her but provided opportunities of learning, physical activity, creativity...not to mention meeting celebrities like Katy Perry, Melissa Cosgrove, Shaq, the Patriots and much more. She is now very bright and I believe personally that it's because she was always given extra attention and care from the Child Life Specialist. Can you imagine children being left in their hospital beds to stare at a tv all day long. Who will attend to their needs other than the doctors, nurses and parents? I believe it's important that these Child Life Specialists remain in the system because they provide the extra care and facility to allow growth and learning. Sick children are generally delayed for whatever is preventing them from thriving. A Child Life Specialist gives opportunities for children to grow in every which way. I have always appreciated their help and looked for guidance. More than a degree, it takes experience to know how to deal with children. A hospital won't hire just anyone. And even if they did, it would be someone who cares enough to help our children. With that said, I am grateful for Child Life Specialists. I believe it's a rewarding experience. I'm looking to go into the Medical field as a non-traditional student but will never change my perspective and respect for this particular field. Thanks to them my daughter is advanced and very bright. She will probably boast about her encounters with the celebrities! =) Best of luck and encouragement for anyone considering to go in the field.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:35 PM
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I was wondering if you could help me. I am a sophomore at Stevenson University and I'm majoring in early childhood education but today I did my co-teaching for a 3rd grade group and I realized that teaching isn't for me. I love to be with children, especially infants, I love psychology and I just heard about this major recently and was wondering where do I begin? what do I do? how can I tell if this is something I could do? or if you know of any other majors that is like teaching but not quiet teaching or being a teacher?

p.s. your comment was great, and it helped me a lot

Thank you!
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