Child Life Specialists

Video: Hear from patients and staff why they love our child life specialists!

Child Life Specialists

Our Child Life team helps make the hospital more kid-friendly and less scary.

Child Life specialists help infants, children, and families cope with the stresses of acute and chronic illness, injury, trauma, disability, and bereavement.

Services include:

  • Preparation & support for medical procedures
  • Age-appropriate education
  • Pain management & coping strategies
  • Play & self-expression activities
  • Memory-making & legacy-building activities
  • Family psychosocial & emotional support
  • Support for siblings

With help from the Child Life team, children are better able to adjust to and understand the medical environment.

Child Life specialists are available in the Children's Hospital, including the Melodies Center and the Massry Family Children's Emergency Center, to meet with upon request or at the suggestion of your doctors and nurses. Please don't hesitate to ask your health care team about this service.

Skylar was nervous coming into the hospital, but we got to spend time learning about I.V. and ultrasounds with the Child Life Specialists Nicole and Kristen, and that helped ease her nerves. Now Skylar says she wants to be a nurse when she grows up!”
Bob SchmidbauerPatient's Father

Music Therapy

Medical music therapy uses live music to address specific treatment goals based on family input and feedback from the health care team, and to help enhance a patient's quality of life.  Goals are adapted to each child's circumstances and abilities. Our music therapist helps create a calm and hopeful experience for patients and families.

Music therapy aims to:

  • Increase coping skills
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Help with processing emotions
  • Help elevate mood and decrease depression
  • Develop a sense of normalcy through play
  • Promote relaxation to help with pain management
  • Provide cognitive and sensory stimulation
  • Compliment occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech and language pathology
  • Address motor goals, cognitive goals and psychosocial goals
  • Connect with non-English speaking patients through music and cultural rhythms

Therapy Dogs

The pet therapy program at Albany Medical Center has brought comfort and joy to countless patients, employees and students for more than 20 years.

The program is led by Albany Medical Center's Volunteer Services.