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Emotional Care - Child Life

We accompany the children and their families during the hospital admission to reduce their anxiety

Child Life is a team of caregivers specialised in preparing children and their families by giving them psychological and emotional support before surgery in order to reduce the child’s anxiety and to ease their recovery.

The moments leading up to an operation are the most stressful for the child and their family. It has been demonstrated that a child’s level of preoperative anxiety is related to the degree of pain in their recovery and the amount of painkillers required. This is why Child Life provides individualised care to each child in order to explain the procedures they will undergo at the Hospital in a way that is adapted to the age and their conditions.

The SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital is the only Spanish hospital that has this pre-and post surgical emotional care figure called Child Life.

Reduce children's fear of surgery

By playing, improvising, drawing, with music, stories and listening, we foster the expression of feelings and emotions in children, helping them to understand what is happening. This helps our patients to feel as reassured as possible when they go for surgery.

Before surgery, we also show the child and their parents the operating theatres and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) so that they will know the people who will be operating on them while they are asleep, as well as the nurses that will take care of them when they wake up. On the day of the operation, the parents can be with their child during the induction of anaesthesia. Moreover, the Child Life team will show them what they can do to help their child to deal with the experience of hospitalisation positively.

We take care of the emotional stability of children who are about to undergo complex surgery. It is important for them, and for the parents, but it is also important for the entire surgical team treating them.

Núria Serrallonga Tintoré - Child Life
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Playground for siblings of admitted patients

In collaboration with the Neonatology Service, the Child Life team has promoted the creation of a new play space to include brothers and sisters as part of the family system affected by the clinical situation and the admission of the newborn. It offers the possibility for parents, children and children to share a little time together through games and activities. Through the game we detect the needs that require the intervention of other Services or Hospital Units.

A team to make hospital admission more pleasant

(Video in Spanish) The figure of the Child Life professional is essential to attend to children and their families in the broadest sense. Our patients, boys and girls, have to deal very early with all kinds of diseases, whether they are theirs or their siblings. Knows the philosophy and operation of the so-called "Amigo Hospital", oriented to the clinical and emotional well-being of our patients.
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