Certified child life specialists play an important role at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital by helping children understand their illnesses in age-appropriate ways, calming their fears during medical procedures, and assisting families in coping with potentially traumatic events. Now the hospital’s child life team is also playing a significant role in shaping the future of the child life profession.
The Child Life Clinical Internship Experience at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital recently earned accreditation by the Association of Child Life Professionals, becoming one of only 33 hospitals worldwide and the only hospital in Louisiana to earn this distinction. Child Life Council Clinical Internship Accreditation recognizes those institutions that meet the requirements established for clinical preparation programs in child life and promote the child life profession through continuous quality improvement of learning and professional practice.
“This accreditation is the culmination of years of establishing one of the premier internship programs in our field,” said Sharon Wesberry, CCLS, Child Life manager at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. “Our goal is for our interns to complete the program 100 percent ready to enter the highly competitive child life workforce. This accreditation is not only a major accomplishment for our hospital, but it also adds tremendous value for interns who train here at our children’s hospital when they apply for a job in the field.”
Wesberry leads a team of 10 certified child life specialists at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, which is the only hospital in Baton Rouge with child life specialists and has the largest child life team in Louisiana. These individuals specialize in areas such as intensive care, surgery, hematology/oncology, and general pediatrics. Child life specialists are trained to provide evidence-based, developmentally and psychologically appropriate interventions including therapeutic play, preparation for procedures, and education to reduce fear, anxiety and pain.
The program’s internship accreditation goes through March 31, 2022. For more information on Child Life at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital or to apply for an internship, visit https://www.ololchildrens.org/ChildLifeSpecialists.
About the Association of Child Life Professionals
Established as a nonprofit organization in 1982, the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) advances the field of child life by establishing and maintaining professional standards, enhancing the professional growth and development of members, and advancing the credibility of the child life profession by fostering research and promoting the standards of child life practice on a national and international level. The Association represents trained professionals with expertise in helping infants, children, youth, and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury and treatment. ACLP is comprised of more than 5,000 individuals representing at least 600 organizations worldwide. Members include Certified Child Life Specialists®, child life assistants, university educators and students, hospital administrators and staff, school teachers, therapeutic recreation specialists, and professionals in related fields. For more information visit http://www.childlife.org.