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Child Life Program

Being sick can be uncomfortable for anyone, but children often feel especially scared and confused when receiving care. The goal of the Child Life Program is to create an environment of learning through positive experiences that will promote an atmosphere of trust and comfort. By offering an array of "therapeutic play" and age-appropriate activities to children, our Child Life Specialists help patients and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury, disability and hospitalization.


  • Education/ Preparation – Preparing children for medical procedures or treatment by demonstrating and using language that children can understand
  • Advocacy/Psychosocial Support – Introduce coping strategies to help reduce anxiety and enhance cooperation with the health care team
  • Procedural/Treatment – Provide support and distraction during medical procedures and treatments
  • Family-Centered Care – Provide information, education, empower collaboration, and support to families of pediatric patients
  • Environment – Offer opportunities for play and expressive activities, encourage natural development, and a sense of FUN in spite of challenging circumstances
  • Community Outreach – Work with the community to provide opportunities for health education, parenting support, and natural childhood development opportunities

Common Activities

  • Storytelling
  • Game playing
  • Puppetry
  • Medical role-play
  • Cooking activities
  • Pre-operative tours
  • Celebrity visits
  • Music
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Doll play
  • Pet therapy
  • "Kid Zone" facility
  • "Teen room"


Child and Family Life is not reimbursed by insurance or families, but instead relies on fundraising and generous financial gifts. If you are interested in giving to the Child Life Program, please contact Jessica McNulty via email below.

Email Us

Child Life Internship

Tulane Lakeside Hospital for Women and Children Child Life department offers year round internships that consists of 16 weeks (640 hours). The Child Life program strives to assist patients in expressing their fears, fantasies, feelings, and to foster an understanding of their hospital experience. Through a diverse program of services and activities, the Child Life Staff is able to meet many needs of the hospitalized child. In addition, documentation skills, assessments, activity planning, case studies, research, professionalism, teamwork, supervision, and a final project will be ongoing training components that must be completed before the end of the internship. It is important to know that many experiences will be available to you. Take the initiative and you will leave Tulane with a greater understanding and knowledge about the child life profession. But also remember, you will get out of your internship what you put into it.

Child Life Internship Application

Please complete the application and return to Jessica McNulty at:
Tulane Lakeside Child Life Dept.
4700 S. I-10 Service Rd. W.
Metairie, LA 70001

Email Your Application