Jun 20, 2024

Child Life Specialist - 16 hours weekly

  • Children's National Hospital
  • Washington, DC, USA

Job Description

Child Life Specialist - 16 hours weekly - (210003YW)

Provides therapeutic services and play activities to promote the physical, emotional and developmental growth of patients and minimize potential
stress and trauma for patients and families


Minimum Education
Bachelor's Degree Bachelor's degree in Child Life, Child Development or related field. (Required)
Master's Degree Master's degree in Child Life, Child Development or related field. (Preferred)

Required Skills/Knowledge
Knowledge of child and adolescent growth and development based on the theories of development, including but not limited to Piaget, Erikson, Bowlby, and Vygotsky
Knowledge of age-appropriate play and ability to utilize play as a mechanism for patient-understanding of the hospital environment and experiences
Ability to assess patient’s development and response to hospital environment and provide developmentally appropriate interventions
Ability to discuss medical experiences in age-appropriate, child-friendly language
Understanding of basic human anatomy and physiology and knowledge of medical terminology
Ability to work in a fast-paced environment, managing multiple tasks simultaneously, utilizing critical thinking and problem solving skills
Ability to comfortably work with internal and external customers from diverse social, cultural and educational backgrounds.
Ability to identify and work collaboratively with diverse teams.
Ability to listen, be empathetic, motivate and follow-through, and eager to seize challenges and resolve issues

Functional Accountabilities
Direct Patient Care

  • Assesses patients’ development, temperament, coping style, and adjustment using knowledge of child development and behavior, disease/injury, treatment, healthcare stressors, cultural and family systems
  • Uses knowledge and resources to create developmental plan and implement appropriate child life and interdisciplinary interventions.
  • Provides therapeutic interactions and activities which offer emotional support, opportunities for continued growth and development, and diversion from the hospital experience
  • Provides opportunities for and facilitates a variety of group and/or individual recreational and play activities that promote normalization, development, learning, self-expression, and coping
  • Uses preparation and medical play opportunities to help alleviate misconceptions and increase understanding of hospital procedures
  • Provides procedural support to patients in order to foster increased coping skills and evaluates effectiveness of interventions to better inform and individualize future support
  • Provides education and support to siblings and parents related to hospital visits, effects of hospitalization, procedures, new diagnoses, etc.
  • Prioritizes own caseload daily in order to meet both child and departmental needs
  • Participates in the weekday, weekend, and on-call rotation, as assigned
  • Regularly maintains patient care documentation in accordance with standards

Patient Experience

  • Fosters environment for patients and families to feel heard and understood, anticipates patient and family needs, and ensures needs are met.
  • Collaborates with child life team and other professionals to provide activities, special visitors, events, and entertainment to patients and families hospital-wide
  • Encourages and coordinates patients’ and families’ participation in activities and special events to support normalization and coping
  • Supports and chaperones special visitors to assigned areas of hospital
  • Assists child life team, assigned area of hospital, or department with intake and distribution of donations of toys and other comforting items

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

  • Collaborates with interdisciplinary healthcare team in order to provide optimal care and advocate for developmentally-appropriate patient and family needs
  • Uses formal and informal methods of communication to share assessments, interventions, and evaluations, as appropriate
  • Maintains communication with interdisciplinary team members to coordinate care and engage in consultation regarding patient care
  • Provides referrals to internal or community resources for patients and families as needed

Program Development

  • Facilitates patient interaction for volunteers.
  • Presents in-service trainings on role and impact of child life to departments or assigned areas, increasing understanding of importance of family-centered care.
  • Adheres to budget set and outlined by Child Life Manager.
  • Manages child life resources of assigned area of hospital and ensures consistent supply of resources.
  • Attends and participates in opportunities that complement and enhance professional development.

Professional Development

  • With Child Life Manager, establishes annual goals and independently works to meet those goals.
  • Participates as member of assigned area or department committees as deemed appropriate.
  • Develops and maintains professional skills and knowledge by attending seminars, workshops, conferences, etc.
  • Maintains a willingness to learn and openness to new ideas and practices.

Organizational Accountabilities
Organizational Accountabilities (Staff)
Organizational Commitment/Identification

  • Anticipate and responds to customer needs; follows up until needs are met


  • Demonstrate collaborative and respectful behavior
  • Partner with all team members to achieve goals
  • Receptive to others’ ideas and opinions

Performance Improvement/Problem-solving

  • Contribute to a positive work environment
  • Demonstrate flexibility and willingness to change
  • Identify opportunities to improve clinical and administrative processes
  • Make appropriate decisions, using sound judgment

Cost Management/Financial Responsibility

  • Use resources efficiently
  • Search for less costly ways of doing things


  • Speak up when team members appear to exhibit unsafe behavior or performance
  • Continuously validate and verify information needed for decision making or documentation
  • Stop in the face of uncertainty and takes time to resolve the situation
  • Demonstrate accurate, clear and timely verbal and written communication
  • Actively promote safety for patients, families, visitors and co-workers
  • Attend carefully to important details - practicing Stop, Think, Act and Review in order to self-check behavior and performance

Primary Location

: District of Columbia-Washington

Work Locations

Sheikh Zayed Campus
111 Michigan Avenue
Washington 20010


: Allied Health


: COE Hospital-Based Specliaties
Position Status: R (Regular) - PT - Part-Time
Shift: Day
Work Schedule: 16 hours

Job Posting

: Mar 3, 2022, 6:52:50 AM