A trip to the hospital can be frightening and stressful for a child and their family members. Fortunately, our certified child life specialist (CCLS) helps support patients, ranging from newborns to young adults, and their families to minimize stress and trauma during medical experiences.
Our child life team supports children and their families throughout the many care units here at Tufts Medicine Lowell General Hospital. The child life specialist is an important member of the healthcare team who promotes family-centered care and provides guidance on the psychosocial needs of children
Our child life specialists:
- Prepare children for medical procedures by providing developmentally appropriate explanations and hands on exploration of medical equipment.
- Create individualized coping plans for children undergoing medical tests and procedures to decrease stress and promote positive coping skills.
- Provide family support to help minimize stress and promote positive adjustment to the hospital environment.
- Provide developmentally appropriate education and language to promote coping through difficult experiences like trauma, grief, and loss.
- Normalize the hospital environment by providing opportunities for play and special events.
- Promote cognitive and social emotional development through individualized play activities.
Meet our Child Life Specialist
Bridget Trefry, MS, CCLS, CEIM
As the first certified child life specialist (CCLS) here at Tufts Medicine Lowell General Hospital my vision is to create a comprehensive child life program to provide psychosocial support to patients and their families.
I started my journey as a CCLS almost five years ago as a child life specialist working in Early Intervention. Since then, I have been a leader of child life growth throughout New England. These accomplishments include expanding CCLS coverage hours, creating a NICU child life program at a major Boston hospital, and advocating for child life in community hospital settings. Seeing children conquer their fears and smile will always speak to the power of play and the necessity of child life services within the hospital environment.