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  • Activities for Adolescents: Skills to Promote Rapport Building and Coping

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    A combination of a physical transformation in the brain, peer comparison, and searching for identity makes adolescence a particularly challenging time in life. Further, teenagers generally experience an increase in stressors and a decreased ability to cope. It is often difficult to know how to connect with teens, providing enough distance to allow for independence while offering support in a challenging developmental stage. This webinar will offer a better understanding of teenagers from a psychological perspective. Further, participants will gain familiarity with therapeutic activities to connect with this particular population and promote positive coping.

    A combination of a physical transformation in the brain, peer comparison, and searching for identity makes adolescence a particularly challenging time in life.  Further, teenagers generally experience an increase in stressors and a decreased ability to cope.  It is often difficult to know how to connect with teens, providing enough distance to allow for independence while offering support in a challenging developmental stage.  This webinar will offer a better understanding of teenagers from a psychological perspective.  Further, participants will gain familiarity with therapeutic activities to connect with this particular population and promote positive coping.     

    After this webinar, participants will have:

    an increased knowledge of adolescents from a psychological perspective

    a familiarity with therapeutic activities for adolescents, focused on rapport building, feelings exploration, and improving coping skills

    had an opportunity to review case studies with applied therapeutic activities

    Sara Loftin

    MS, LPC, RPT

    Sara Loftin has worked at Children’s Health: Children’s

    Medical Center in Dallas as a Clinical Therapist on the Psychiatry
    Consult-Liaison Team for over four years providing play therapy, Child-Parent
    Relationship Therapy, group therapy, and parent education for families and
    patients with a myriad of physical and mental health diagnoses. 

  • Talking to Children About the Tough Stuff: Suicide, Violence, Parent Incarceration, and More!

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Most child life professionals have become very competent at assisting children and families with health care experiences. However, sometimes child life specialists are asked to speak to children about other stressful events outside the realm of health care. This webinar is designed to increase the knowledge and comfort of the professional by identifying those child life skills that can be used in these non-traditional situations.

    Most child life professionals have become very competent at assisting children and families with health care experiences.  However, sometimes child life specialists are asked to speak to children about other stressful events outside the realm of health care.  This webinar is designed to increase the knowledge and comfort of the professional by identifying those child life skills that can be used in these non-traditional situations. General guidelines will be provided and then applied to the following life experiences: suicide, mental illness of a loved adult, witnessing or experiencing violence, the incarceration of a caregiver in jail or prison, and military deployment of a parent or caregiver. Emphasis will be placed on the applicability of general child life standards of practice to these unusual situations and the importance of professional attention to boundaries and referral sources when working outside normal areas of expertise.

    After this webinar, participants will have:

    an understanding of the factors and stressors that occur in a variety of challenging childhood experiences outside of the health care environment

    the ability to apply child life competencies and standards of clinical practice to situations beyond traditional child life roles an increased knowledge of . . .

    knowledge of the five most important factors when talking to children about difficult, life-changing events

    an increased level of confidence when working with children and families who are facing difficult and complex life experiences not related to health care

    Kathleen McCue

    MA, LSW, CCLS

    Kathleen McCue retired from a 43 year career in child life in 2014.  She has been a child life specialist and a director of child life programs in four different children’s hospitals, and most recently was the Children’s Program Director at The Gathering Place, a non-profit community based cancer support center in Cleveland, OH. Kathleen has worked with the children of adult patients and children and families experiencing trauma or violence.  She has authored three books and numerous book chapters and articles, and has presented nationally and internationally on topics related to her work experience.  She has held several positions in ACLP, including president of the organization.

  • NICU ABCs: Child Life Assessment and Intervention in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Certified Child Life Specialists possess skills and abilities to meet the unique needs of infants and their families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Core skills such as: assessment, preparation, education, psychosocial support, procedure support, and developmentally supportive interventions have translated successfully to this environment. In this presentation the developmental, psychosocial, and educational needs of this population will be discussed in depth, including assessment and intervention strategies unique to NICU patients, stressors families experience, and strategies to support the development of positive coping skills to foster optimal infant/parent and family bonding. Case studies, visual aids, and an opportunity for question and answer will be made available in this webinar.

    Certified Child Life Specialists possess skills and abilities to meet the unique needs of infants and their families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Core skills such as: assessment, preparation, education, psychosocial support, procedure support, and developmentally supportive interventions have translated successfully to this environment. In this presentation the developmental, psychosocial, and educational needs of this population will be discussed in depth, including assessment and intervention strategies unique to NICU patients, stressors families experience, and strategies to support the development of positive coping skills to foster optimal infant/parent and family bonding. Case studies, visual aids, and an opportunity for question and answer will be made available in this webinar.  

    After this webinar, participants will have:

    an understanding of and ability to describe three stages of premature/sick infant development

    the ability to assess development and implement developmentally supportive interventions for each stage

    a familiarity with the stressors experienced by families in the NICU

    strategies to support positive coping skill for parents and siblings

    Christ Tryon

    CCLS

    Chris Tryon is a level IV child life specialist who has focused much of her 20-year career in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  She developed, established, and currently maintains the NICU child life program at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester, NY. Her expertise lies in supporting and advocating for the developmental and psychosocial needs of children and their families in this setting. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Chris provides staff education, participates in policy and procedure development, mentors child life practicum students and interns, serves as a developmental consultant to the health care team and supervises the NICU volunteer program. Chris is also a member of the NICU developmental care team, the NICU pain team, and chair of the NICU graduate reunion committee.  She is also a member of the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) and the ACLP Advanced Professional Development Committee.

  • Everyday Ethics: Identifying the Impact of Ethical Decision-Making on the Delivery of Compassionate Clinical Care

    Contains 1 Component(s)

    Child life specialists promote the holistic health and well-being of children and their families on a daily, hourly, and minute-to-minute basis. This session will focus on exploring how healthcare clinicians utilize the four basic ethical principles to make clinical decisions during each encounter. This seemingly intuitive process is a result of the intersection between a clinician’s personal values and subsequent training and experience. By exploring how these decisions are made in the moment, participants will learn ways to increase their awareness of this process and how to incorporate intentional ethical decision-making into their daily work.

    Child life specialists promote the holistic health and well-being of children and their families on a daily, hourly, and minute-to-minute basis. This session will focus on exploring how healthcare clinicians utilize the four basic ethical principles to make clinical decisions during each encounter. This seemingly intuitive process is a result of the intersection between a clinician’s personal values and subsequent training and experience. By exploring how these decisions are made in the moment, participants will learn ways to increase their awareness of this process and how to incorporate intentional ethical decision-making into their daily work. 

    After this webinar, participants will have:

    an understanding of the four basic ethical principles for decision-making

    the ability to consider when and how these principles are utilized during the delivery of clinical interventions

    a familiarity with methods to transition from intuitive decision-making to intentional decision-making

    the ability to identify resources for coping with the outcomes of the ethical delivery of clinical interventions related to professional debriefing, self-care, professional collaboration, and personal/professional growth and development

    Ann Hannan

    Ann Hannan has been the director of the Riley Cheer Guild and Music Therapy Programs at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health in Indianapolis, IN, since February 2016.  She has over 16 years of pediatric music therapy clinical expertise and has collaborated with child life specialists for her entire clinical career.  She has presented at regional music therapy conferences with child life specialists on topics such as infant development, parent engagement, NICU child life/music therapy collaboration, and clinical collaboration to meet the needs of developmentally and clinically complex patients.  After completing a medical ethics fellowship, Ann strives to share this experience with pediatric clinicians.

  • Utilizing a Strength-Based Approach in Child Life Practice

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Strength-based practice is a theoretical approach originally developed and employed in the field of social work. This philosophy attempts to highlight and build upon a person’s strengths rather than focusing on his or her deficits. This webinar presentation will define strength-based practice and describe its basic tenets as well as articulate specific ways to embrace this approach in the field of child life.

    Strength-based practice is a theoretical approach originally developed and employed in the field of social work. This philosophy attempts to highlight and build upon a person’s strengths rather than focusing on his or her deficits. This webinar presentation will define strength-based practice and describe its basic tenets as well as articulate specific ways to embrace this approach in the field of child life.

  • Infants, Toddlers and Parents . . . Oh My! Weaving the Threads of Infant/Toddler Preparation: Helping Parents Become their Child’s Advocate

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    The infant/toddler stage of development is highly impacted by changes in routine and structure. Surgery and procedures can affect coping and distress, especially since basic attachment is challenged at this time. Parents given opportunities to prepare and support their infant/toddler for surgeries and procedures can also increase their own coping. Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) can provide specific education that fosters opportunities for parent empowerment and optimizes these teaching opportunities by providing modeling and education encompassing developmentally appropriate considerations.

    The infant/toddler stage of development is highly impacted by changes in routine and structure.  Surgery and procedures can affect coping and distress, especially since basic attachment is challenged at this time. Parents given opportunities to prepare and support their infant/toddler for surgeries and procedures can also increase their own coping.  Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) can provide specific education that fosters opportunities for parent empowerment and optimizes these teaching opportunities by providing modeling and education encompassing developmentally appropriate considerations.

    After this webinar, participants will have:

    an understanding of current research findings regarding infant/toddler coping with procedures and surgeries

    an increased knowledge of techniques to empower parents to prepare their infant/toddler at home for surgery or procedures and support their child on the day of their surgery/procedure

    a familiarity with best practices for supporting infant/toddlers for procedures and surgeries

    the ability to model APA guidelines on technology use with infant/toddlers

    Charity Vasquez

    MS, CCLS

    Charity Vasquez received her BS in child life and MS in child development, and has been a Certified Child Life Specialist since 2000.  She worked for over 12 years in in various units at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital prior to taking on a role as child life manager at UC Irvine Medical Center. Inspired by her clinical interactions with infants, toddlers, and their families, Charity became a Certified Infant Massage Instructor and earned certificates in infant/toddler training through the Program for Infant/Toddler Care Partners for Quality. As a child life manager, Charity chaired the hospital’s Women and Children’s Bereavement Committee, NICU Family Advisory Care Team Committee, and developed and coordinated the neonatal and perinatal palliative care program.  Charity has experience teaching child development and child life courses as an adjunct/contracted faculty at several colleges, including an infant and toddler development course and a hospitalized infants and toddlers course for a graduate child life program.  Currently, Charity serves as the child life program director at Azusa Pacific University, implementing and developing the child life graduate degree program in the department of psychology.

    Erica

    Magnuson

    Erica Magnuson received her BA in Child Development and has been a Certified Child Life Specialist since 2005.  Prior to working as a child life specialist, Erica worked for several years in toddler/preschool programs.  For the past nine years, Erica has been working at a at UC Irvine Medical Center’s Regional Burn Center and Burn and Wound clinic, where over 30% of patients are under the age of three.  This has given Erica extensive experience in educating parents on preparing and helping their very young children cope with daily procedures and surgeries.  Erica has been a member of the performance improvement committee for the burn team, a member of various committees in hospital settings advocating for pediatric patients and families, and has served on the planning committee for the UBelong program, which serves child and adolescent burn survivors.

  • Bridging Research and Assessment: Techniques for Interviewing Pediatric Patients

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Age-appropriate, play-based communication is a foundational and necessary skill for child life professionals working in a variety of medical and community settings.

    Age-appropriate, play-based communication is a foundational and necessary skill for child life professionals working in a variety of medical and community settings.  However, there are times in which preferred play materials and the gift of time are unavailable, leaving the clinician more reliant on dialogic interactions with children.  Recognizing these needs, this presentation will consider both overt and nuanced impacts of cognitive and social-emotional development on children’s capabilities and preferences for verbal communication – both of which greatly impact clinical assessment strategies and the design and conduct of research with young children.  Using examples from various interview-based research studies with hospitalized children, participants will explore developmentally appropriate considerations for conversationally assessing the development, thoughts, and experiences of pediatric patients.

    After this webinar, participants will have:

    • an understanding of the impact of cognitive and social-emotional development on children’s abilities to interpret questions, reflect on experiences, and articulate responses.
    • the ability to describe the similarities and differences between clinical assessment and empirical interviewing in pediatric populations.
    • an increased knowledge of age appropriate conversational techniques for learning more about the development, thoughts, and experiences of pediatric patients.

    Jessika Boles

    PhD, CCLS

    Jessika Boles is a child life specialist in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.  She has nearly ten years of clinical experience in addition to many years of academic and research training in applied child development, education, and psychology.  She has published work in various medical and psychosocial journals, and has presented at national and international conferences in child development, psychology, education, and child life.  In her spare time, Jessika teaches undergraduate and graduate courses related to working with children and families in hospitals, and is currently serving as a director on the ACLP board of directors. 

  • The Continuum of Care: Providing Child Life Service in the Community

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    The child life profession is beginning to evolve as the awareness of the field grows. There is an increase of newly Certified Child Life Specialists entering the field, limited traditional hospital positions available, and veteran specialists seeking professional growth in a non-traditional role. This shift is pushing specialists to obtain positions beyond the hospital walls and into community-based non-traditional roles.

    The child life profession is beginning to evolve as the awareness of the field grows. There is an increase of newly Certified Child Life Specialists entering the field, limited traditional hospital positions available, and veteran specialists seeking professional growth in a non-traditional role. This shift is pushing specialists to obtain positions beyond the hospital walls and into community-based non-traditional roles.
    The three panelists will share their experiences working in a non-profit organization focusing on children of adult patients, a freestanding outpatient ENT clinic, and a private practice serving families in their home environment. Learn how to assess the community’s needs, provide ethical services, and overcome challenges as you continue to grow professionally. 

    After this webinar, participants will have:

    the ability to discuss the value of child life services in community-based programs

    the ability to assess their skill set and apply it to the community’s needs

    an increased understanding of effective communication strategies with co-workers and program leaders

    the ability to create a structure for continued ethical professional growth and supervision

    Meredith Cooper

    MA, CCLS, LPC

    Meredith Cooper is the former executive director and co-founder of Wonders & Worries, which she envisioned, launched and grew from its beginnings in 2001. Following 15 years of success, Meredith stepped into a founder role in 2017, where she continues providing strategic direction for national growth. Meredith has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in child development. She is a Certified Child Life Specialist and a Licensed Professional Counselor who has been involved with children’s healthcare in the Austin community for more than 25 years, including being the first pediatric oncology child life specialist for Austin. She is the co-chair of the Program Guidelines and Standards Sub-committee for the ACLP Community Based Non-Traditional Role Committee. 

    Courtney Mergen

    MA, CCLS

    Courtney Mergen is a Certified Child Life Specialist at a one-person program at Iowa ENT Center in West Des Moines, Iowa. She graduated with her Master’s degree and joined Iowa ENT Center in 2014, where she was the first child life specialist in this location. Courtney initiated a novice research study investigating the impact of child life services on parent and patient satisfaction, which is currently awaiting publication. The child life program includes a partnership with the University of Iowa practicum program and Mercy Hospital internship program. She is a member of the Community Agency Sub-committee for the ACLP Community Based Non-Traditional Role Committee.

    Shani Thorton

    MS, CCLS

    Shani Thorton has been a Certified Child Life Specialist for the past 10 years and has worked in a pediatric inpatient rehabilitation unit and a long term children’s facility. She launched a private practice, Child Life Mommy, in her community, providing child life services to children and families in their homes. Shani has created a child life and parenting website/blog, published a children’s preparation book, and leads workshops in the community. She is an adjunct faculty member at Bank Street College and is also the chair for the Private Practice Sub-committee in the ACLP Community Based Non-Traditional Role Committee. 

  • In The Footsteps of Goldilocks: Searching For What is ‘Just Right’ in Global Child Life Best Practice

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Pioneering child life specialists have been addressing global program development for many years and through a variety of methods. A panel of experienced child life specialists will outline four distinct approaches to global engagement through the lens of cultural impact and sustainability, and facilitate a discussion of best practices for this area of program development.

    Pioneering child life specialists have been addressing global program development for many years and through a variety of methods.  A panel of experienced child life specialists will outline four distinct approaches to global engagement through the lens of cultural impact and sustainability, and facilitate a discussion of best practices for this area of program development.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
    ■ Increase awareness of the multiple factors impacting the implementation of childcentered and child life services abroad.
    ■ Identify the current models being utilized to develop child-centered practices for healthcare workers and child life programs abroad.
    ■ Gain an increased understanding of the challenges to building sustainable programs.
    ■ Participate in a discussion addressing the challenges to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to global programming.

  • Such a Fine Line: Balancing Therapeutic Relationships and Professional Boundaries

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    There is a fine line when balancing the role of professional boundaries in developing and maintaining therapeutic relationships. Through the use of case examples, staff testimonials and group discussion, participants will have a n opportunity to explore methods to create, maintain and encourage professional boundaries in their daily work and within their institution.

    There is a fine line when balancing the role of professional boundaries in developing and maintaining therapeutic relationships. Through the use of case examples, staff testimonials and group discussion, participants will have a n opportunity to explore methods to create, maintain and encourage professional boundaries in their daily work and within their institution.

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
    ■ Explore organizational expectations and boundaries across the healthcare team.
    ■ Identify challenges of maintaining and promoting professional boundaries in the healthcare setting.
    ■ Identify examples of professional boundary challenges and engage in discussion about solutions to these challenges.
    ■ Discuss creating a balance between developing effective relationships while maintaining professional boundaries.