Inpatient resources

Child Life and Expressive Therapies Department

The goal of child life services at Norton Children’s Hospital is to decrease the stress and anxiety a child may have because of being in the hospital. The child life therapists work to make this happen in a variety of ways, including:

  • Assistance with preparing for tests, surgeries and other medical procedures
  • Medical play to help children become more familiar with medical experiences, so they are better able to cope with being in the hospital and being sick
  • Activities to encourage normal growth and development
  • Pain management techniques and advocacy
  • Education about illness and/or injury for patients and siblings
  • Help with preparing siblings for visiting patients in the “Just for Kids” Critical Care Center
  • Behavior modification techniques to help patients who are not following instructions provided by doctors, nurses and other health care professionals
  • Patient and sibling support for issues related to loss and separation

Expressive art therapies use art as a nonthreatening way to help children and families express their feelings and occurrences. Art therapists work with families who have experienced trauma and/or chronic illness. They work with patients and families to help them develop coping skills and learn ways to assist with the healing process.

Expressive music therapists use songs, singing and instruments to help children in the hospital. Music therapy can benefit children by helping them express their emotions and can give families a positive time to share in a creative way.

All child life and expressive therapy services are provided free of charge.

Pastoral care

Chaplains care for people of all faiths. They promote spiritual health and deliver timely, competent spiritual care to patients, families and staff. We do this through the work of our staff chaplains, our resident and intern chaplains and our Clinical Pastoral Education program.

Norton Children’s chaplains are available to you and your loved ones 24 hours a day to provide the following assistance:

  • Emotional and spiritual support, regardless of your faith or beliefs
  • Prayer, baptisms, blessings, anointing and help with contacting your local clergy or someone from your faith tradition
  • A caring listener
  • A comforting and encouraging presence
  • Assisting patients and families with end-of-life decisions, including advance directives
  • Providing written and printed religious and spiritual resources
  • Help for patients and families in dealing with loss
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