It’s really fulfilling to know I was able to ease their fears.

Kristy Woodwyk, child life specialist

I’m a child life specialist at Bronson Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Pediatric Subspecialties practices for Bronson Children’s Hospital. I work with a variety of kids including those who have blood disorders, cancer, gastrointestinal issues, and those in need of sedation or surgery. I work together with the hospital team to promote family –centered care by helping with each step of the patient’s journey from hospitalizations, diagnosis, treatment and procedures.  I teach coping strategies to enhance cooperation during procedures.

The part of my job that I love the most is trying to make the hospital experience less scary whenever possible. When a child enters the hospital and is terrified of what’s going to happen, I help prepare the child for their upcoming procedures using medical play and I demonstrate the medical equipment such as bubbles, light spinners, rain sticks and iPads. I love seeing their reaction when they are calm and happy before their procedure. It’s really fulfilling to know that I was able to ease their fears.

Child life is part of the hospital team. I like collaborating with the other professionals here to form a plan to help patients and families. Each person on this team is a puzzle piece: doctors, nurses, social workers, case managers, child life and art and music therapy all work together to make the overall experience better.

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