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Children's Experience Department

The Children’s Experience team strives to normalize the hospital environment by providing psychosocial therapeutic support through a family centered care approach. Our goal is to enrich the experience for our patients and their families. 

The Children’s Experience team consists of:

Child Life

Certified Child Life Specialists will assess children’s psychosocial and developmental needs in order to create an individualized plan of care through advocacy, education, and empowerment; thereby normalizing the hospital environment and promoting best possible outcomes with a focus on family-centered care.

Music Therapy

The music therapy department, consisting of board certified music therapists, strives to effectuate positive therapeutic changes in patients and families through the clinical and evidence-based implementation of music to achieve individualized goals.

Expressive Arts

The expressive Art Specialist works with the Children’s Experience team by providing both individualized and group expressive art activities that support specific patient goals. 

Recreational Services

Play spaces are a child’s haven. It is the one aspect of a child’s hospitalization wherein he/she has some control of the hospital. A child can decide to come to the playroom and participate in special activities, free play, or may choose not to come at all. Play spaces allow children to have an opportunity to socialize with children that may share similar experiences.
Play spaces are equally important to siblings, as well as the hospitalized child. Dedicated spaces for recreational play and guided activities offer parents and caregivers peace of mind to focus on the needs of the hospitalized child.

Educational Coordination Services

The Nicklaus Children’s Hospital School Program strives to provide guidance and advocacy to all patient and families through collaboration with community partners including school districts, tutoring programs, and curriculum providers to achieve academic successes throughout the course of a patient’s treatment with a goal of successfully supporting the patient’s re-entry back to school. 

A Certified Child Life Specialist may help your child by: 

  • Education on diagnoses, procedures, and treatment plans through the use of medical play.
  • Preparation for tests, procedures, and/or surgeries for patients, siblings, and family.
  • Support during invasive procedures through the use of distraction and coping skills.
  • Engaging patients in therapeutic and expressive activities to help them cope with fears and anxiety.
  • Advocating for the unique needs of patients and families during and after hospitalization.
  • Promoting family centered care through psychosocial support and emotional support for families
  • Normalize the hospital environment in an effort to promote optimal growth and development

Child Life Mission

Child Life specialists will assess children’s psychosocial and developmental needs in order to create an individualized plan of care through advocacy, education, and empowerment; thereby normalizing the hospital environment and promoting best possible outcomes with a focus on family-centered care.

Child Life Values

The Child Life department supports the Nicklaus Children's Hospital values and guiding behaviors of being passionate in serving the child and family, respecting and supporting each other, fostering a safe, caring and healthy environment, being accountable, acting with integrity, and collaborating.  In addition to these values, we embrace the cultural diversity of families by advocating and communicating their uniqueness with the healthcare team and enhancing the growth and development of children through the use of play.


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