Stepping into the shoes of a "child life specialist" at Palmetto - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Stepping into the shoes of a "child life specialist" at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital

(Source: WISTV) (Source: WISTV)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The title “Child Life Specialist,” might sound broad and vague, but the goal and the purpose of these professionals is highly specific.

March is “Child Life” month, recognizing the work that specialists do in hospitals around the countries to support children and their families during extended stays at the hospital. These professionals work with children and families in hospitals to help them cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness and disability.

“We provide normalization for them simply sitting in a room and playing Uno or getting on the floor with an infant or child,” said Child Life Specialist, Emily Murphy. “And we just kinda play and give them that developmental stimulation they'd get at home but while they’re here in the hospital as well."

WIS caught up with several specialists at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. One was singing and dancing with toddlers, while another was making “slime” with pre-teens on the cancer and blood disorders floor. When we followed Murphy, she was helping get a 15-year-old with an autoimmune deficiency disorder walking through the hallways.

“Fe’Lon is one of my treasured children,” Murphy told WIS. “He’s been here for somewhere between 60 to 70 days at this point and has been in the intensive care with me upstairs. He recently got moved downstairs to our pediatric floor.”

Murphy has watched as Fe’Lon has fought to recover. He used to barely be able to get from the couch to his hospital bed just four feet away. Now, as Murphy helps him wheel his oxygen along with him, he walks the hallways on a hospital scavenger hunt.

"We're there to help you through that process of all of the bad stuff and make it better and make it a place where you can cope when you come here, you're not traumatized,” Murphy said. “And next time you come back, if you have to come back, you're like OK, I can do this, I know what to expect... there are people here who can help me."

Copyright 2018 WIS. All rights reserved. 

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • American ISIS wife endured horror, now wants to come home

    American ISIS wife endured horror, now wants to come home

    Thursday, April 19 2018 7:26 PM EDT2018-04-19 23:26:55 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 7:26 PM EDT2018-04-19 23:26:55 GMT
    Sam Sally and her family spent four years in ISIS territory. (Source: CNN)Sam Sally and her family spent four years in ISIS territory. (Source: CNN)

    Sam Sally says she was coerced by her husband, who has since died, into crossing into ISIS territory while on vacation in Turkey four years ago.

    More >>

    Sam Sally says she was coerced by her husband, who has since died, into crossing into ISIS territory while on vacation in Turkey four years ago.

    More >>
  • Southwest Airlines sought more time for engine inspections

    Southwest Airlines sought more time for engine inspections

    Thursday, April 19 2018 1:02 AM EDT2018-04-19 05:02:22 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 7:23 PM EDT2018-04-19 23:23:51 GMT
    (NTSB via AP). National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwes...(NTSB via AP). National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwes...

    The Federal Aviation Administration's announcement late Wednesday comes nearly a year after the engine's manufacturer recommended the additional inspections, and a month after European regulators ordered their airlines to do the work.

    More >>

    The Federal Aviation Administration's announcement late Wednesday comes nearly a year after the engine's manufacturer recommended the additional inspections, and a month after European regulators ordered their airlines to do the work.

    More >>
  • Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with US government

    Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with US government

    Thursday, April 19 2018 4:32 PM EDT2018-04-19 20:32:44 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 7:18 PM EDT2018-04-19 23:18:58 GMT
    (Bernard Papon/Pool Photo via AP, File). FILE - In this July 24, 2004, file pool photo, overall leader Lance Armstrong, right, of Austin, Texas, follows compatriot and teammate Floyd Landis, left, in the ascent of the La Croix Fry pass during the 17th ...(Bernard Papon/Pool Photo via AP, File). FILE - In this July 24, 2004, file pool photo, overall leader Lance Armstrong, right, of Austin, Texas, follows compatriot and teammate Floyd Landis, left, in the ascent of the La Croix Fry pass during the 17th ...
    Lance Armstrong has reached a$5 million settlement with the federal government in a civil whistleblower lawsuit that could have sought $100 million in damages from the former cyclist.More >>
    Lance Armstrong has reached a$5 million settlement with the federal government in a civil whistleblower lawsuit that could have sought $100 million in damages from the former cyclist.More >>
Powered by Frankly