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  • Pushing our Professional Paradigm: Developing Data-Driven Teams and Practices

    Contains 3 Component(s), 1.5 credits offered

    High quality healthcare practices are derived from the careful and conscientious application of evidence to improve patients and family experiences and outcomes. However, in the child life profession, the demands of clinical responsibilities, student and employee supervision, and program administration can seem to leave little time in the day for systematic data collection, evaluation, and application. Therefore, this webinar will explore the importance of efficiently integrating data collection and analysis opportunities into existing child life programming to achieve clinical, academic, administrative, and research goals. Through inquiry and case examples, participants will identify opportunities for integrating intentional data acquisition and management practices to cultivate a data-driven culture of child life practice.

    High quality healthcare practices are derived from the careful and conscientious application of evidence to improve patients and family experiences and outcomes. However, in the child life profession, the demands of clinical responsibilities, student and employee supervision, and program administration can seem to leave little time in the day for systematic data collection, evaluation, and application. Therefore, this webinar will explore the importance of efficiently integrating data collection and analysis opportunities into existing child life programming to achieve clinical, academic, administrative, and research goals. Through inquiry and case examples, participants will identify opportunities for integrating intentional data acquisition and management practices to cultivate a data-driven culture of child life practice.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Participants will explore the importance of data-driven care-planning and program administration for improving patient and family outcomes, clinical training programs, and employee satisfaction.
    2. Participants will identify characteristics of effective data-driven healthcare teams.
    3. Participants will explore case examples of clinical, empirical, academic, and administrative implementations of collaborative data collection and analysis.
    4. Participants will identify opportunities for integrating data collection and analysis into child life programming to promote best practices and improved quality of care.


    Domain: Professional Responsibility 

    Jessika Boles

    PhD, CCLS

    Jessika Boles, PhD, CCLS 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 several 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, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses related to working with children and families in hospitals and research methods, and is currently serving as the chair of the Academic Review Committee of the Association of Child Life Professionals.

  • A Crash Course on Reading and Interpreting Empirical Research Articles

    Contains 3 Component(s), 1.5 credits offered

    This webinar will provide an introduction to reading and interpreting empirical research articles related to the child life profession, with a focus on identifying rigorous research studies. Current research articles will be discussed, including analyses of articles written by Certified Child Life Specialists.

    This webinar will provide an introduction to reading and interpreting empirical research articles related to the child life profession, with a focus on identifying rigorous research studies. Current research articles will be discussed, including analyses of articles written by Certified Child Life Specialists.

    Learning Objectives: 

    Upon completion of the webinar, participants will be able to:
    • List the components of a research article.
    • Understand what information is provided in each section of a research article.
    • Differentiate between quantitative and qualitative research methodology.
    • Understand the three major issues with empirical research: sampling, measurement, and problem identification.
    • Analyze research articles to determine flaws in study design.
    • Understand common challenges encountered when conducting rigorous psychosocial research.

    Domain: Professional Responsibility 

    Brittany Wittenberg

    Ph.D., CCLS, CFLE

    Brittany Wittenberg is the Co-Chair for the ACLP's SAPPC: Education/Awareness/Networking Subcommittee. Brittany Wittenberg is an Assistant Professor of Child and Family Studies at Louisiana State University. 

    Megan Cassani

    Megan Cassani MA, CCLS, CIMI, has been a certified Child Life Specialist at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital since 2014. Megan graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in Human Development and Family Sciences. She has experience working in both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation with patients of all ages. Megan has worked to develop a family-centered care child life program promoting caregiver and sibling coping as well as family bonding and connectedness.

    Dottie Barnhart

    CCLS

    Dottie Barnhart is a former teacher turned child life assistant who now works as a General Pediatric Child Life Specialist. She completed undergrad at the University of Texas in Austin, with a double major in English Literature and Spanish Language. After teaching for 5 years, she returned to school to complete a Master's Degree in Family and Child Development at Texas State University. Her passions include trauma-informed care, research, interprofessional collaboration among the healthcare team, and hiking. She is a mom to a one year old, and has been married to her husband Matt for 5 years.

  • ACLP Child Life Certification Exam Study Guide

    Contains 4 Component(s)

    This comprehensive certification exam study guide includes a webinar, exam information pamphlet (available for download) and 50 question online quiz. These materials, designed by ACLP in partnership with the Education and Training Committee, are intended to help future child life specialists be prepared for the certification exam.

    Preparing for the Child Life Certification Exam? We've got you covered. This 3 part resource, designed by the ACLP Education and Training Committee, is intended to help prepare future child life specialists to take the Child Life Certification Exam. This resource offers:

    • Exam Pamphlet (Available for download): this informational guide provides an overview of the exam including its history, structure and creation. 
    • Webinar: presented by members of the Education and Training Committee, this 30 minute webinar reviews the importance of certification, history of the exam and exam structure, key test taking strategies and resources and also helps participants break down practice test questions. 
    • 50 Question Practice Exam: participants will be able to take a 50 question practice exam online. These questions align with the Exam Content Outline and include references to exam resources. 

    Please note that purchasers of this content will retain access to these materials for one year from date of purchase. Our 50 question practice exam is update periodically to ensure this resource remains current. 

  • Okay, so What's Next?: Successfully Navigating MidCareer Transition, Advancement and Development

    Contains 3 Component(s), 1.5 credits offered

    The current job market in the child life profession is highly competitive. While much attention has been given in recent years to aiding new child life specialists as developing professionals, there is limited support for those who have mastered basic competencies and want to expand beyond their first job. The current presentation aims to empower emerging (and established) professionals who are evaluating their professional growth and providing expertise on how to identify it is time for a career transition as well as how to be successful in a new role as a child life specialist with experience. Building on personal experience, the presenters will highlight: strategies that identify influences contributing to role change; finding areas for growth within current roles; how to identify the right new position; approaches to successfully integrate oneself into a new team; and finally, a discussion on factors that can increase longevity in the field of child life as whole.

    The current job market in the child life profession is highly competitive. While much attention has been given in recent years to aiding new child life specialists as developing professionals, there is limited support for those who have mastered basic competencies and want to expand beyond their first job. The current presentation aims to empower emerging (and established) professionals who are evaluating their professional growth and providing expertise on how to identify it is time for a career transition as well as how to be successful in a new role as a child life specialist with experience. Building on personal experience, the presenters will highlight: strategies that identify influences contributing to role change; finding areas for growth within current roles; how to identify the right new position; approaches to successfully integrate oneself into a new team; and finally, a discussion on factors that can increase longevity in the field of child life as whole.

    Learning Objectives:

    1) Participants will be able to recognize both professional and personal factors that contribute to a desire for a career transition or growth.
    2) Participants will have an understanding of how to evaluate potential positions for suitability for personal goals and strengths and finding opportunities for growth within current roles.
    3) Participants will be able to successfully prepare for transition and establish themselves within a new environment.
    4) Participants will have an understanding of how to formulate a personal plan for career longevity and development

    Domain: Professional Responsibility 

    Katie Sullivan

    MS, CCLS

    Katie Sullivan is a child life specialist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH. Katie's clinical areas are currently inpatient rehabilitation, pain management, adolescent group programming and animal assisted therapy in the inpatient setting with her facility dog Chevy. Katie has previously focused on psychiatric patients in the medical setting, inpatient psychiatry, hematology and oncology, inpatient surgery, radiology, and critical care at multiple other institutions. She is involved in the Patient Advisory Council, as well as the co-chair of the Professional Practice Council. Katie is a member of the ACLP Benchmarking Committee and a previous member of the Professional Resources Committee. 

    Bethany Fisackerly

    Bethany Fisackerly holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida and an M.S. in Child Development and Family Relations from East Carolina University. After internship, she worked clinically at Baptist Children’s Hospital (Miami, FL), and as a full-time faculty member at Columbia College (Columbia, SC), before returning to Gainesville, FL in early 2017 as an inpatient CCLS for the Immunocompromised Unit at UFHealth Shands Children’s Hospital. Bethany Fisackerly is an avid bookworm with a passion for education, who recognizes the need for strong ethical foundations at every professional stage of life. Within the ACLP, she has previously served with the Bulletin Editorial Committee; was an invited attendee for the 2016 Academic and Clinical Summit; and currently sits on the Practicum Task Force. When not at work, she enjoys painting, cheering on her Florida Gators, and dressing her cat, Rascal, up in all kinds of ridiculous attire.

  • Meta-parenting Among Parents of Hospitalized Children

    Contains 3 Component(s), 1.5 credits offered

    This webinar will explore the family systems perspective and parenting practices. We will discuss the concept of meta-parenting (how parents think about their parenting), and further investigate how parenting practices or meta-parenting might be different for the parents of children in the hospital. We will explore what factors might contribute to parenting differences and what the implications of parenting differences might be for children and families. We will conclude by discussing how child life can potentially educate, or play a role in supporting families, parents and children. This webinar is derived from a Focus article.

    This webinar will explore the family systems perspective and parenting practices. We will discuss the concept of meta-parenting (how parents think about their parenting), and further investigate how parenting practices or meta-parenting might be different for the parents of children in the hospital. We will explore what factors might contribute to parenting differences and what the implications of parenting differences might be for children and families. We will conclude by discussing how child life can potentially educate, or play a role in supporting families, parents and children.

    This webinar is derived from a Focus article. 

    Learning Objectives:

    -Successfully connect and apply the family systems perspective, specifically to parents and children in a healthcare setting.

    -Correctly describe and asses the commonly known types of parenting styles and outcomes of these styles as noted in the literature.

    -Clearly identify and discuss the meta-parenting concept, and related research findings regarding meta-parenting.

    -Accurately identify and assess potential parenting "risk factors" for parents of hospitalized children or parents of children with chronic illness.
    Effectively articulate and debate the implications of parenting differences for children and families.

    -Confidently recommend and facilitate education or intervention to support the psychosocial needs and well-being of children and families.

    Elizabeth McCarroll

    PhD, CCLS

    Elizabeth McCarroll a MS and PhD in Human Development and Family Studies, with an emphasis on childhood. Elizabeth became a CCLS in 2009, and her research interests have always centered on social and emotional development in preschool/school- age children and how health status might influence those relationships. More recently Liz has started looking at how parents of children with chronic illness might parent their children differently, and how those differences might influence the social and emotional development of their children.

  • Implementing a Child Life Clinical Lead Program

    Contains 3 Component(s), 1 credit offered

    This webinar will describe the development and implementation of a Clinical Lead Program in response to employee engagement scores, lack of professional development opportunities, and Child Life Director needing more leadership support.

    This webinar will describe the development and implementation of a Clinical Lead Program in response to employee engagement scores, lack of professional development opportunities, and Child Life Director needing more leadership support.

    By the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:
    - speak to the body of evidence proving the positive effects of child life leadership development on engagement, costs, and clinical outcomes. 

    - describe how the Clinical Lead positions were created, approved, and developed. 

    - articulate how the implementation of the Clinical Lead positions positively affected outcomes for the child life staff and the organization. 

    - glean insight from lessons learned, for the purposes of implementing such a program at other institutions.

    Domain: Professional Responsibility 

    Jamie Gentille

    CCLS

    Jamie Gentille  has been a CCLS since 2002 and has served as Child Life Director since 2006. She holds a Masters in Public Health from Walden University. She has extensive speaking experience and has implemented Clinical Ladder and Clinical Lead programs.

  • Implementing a Hospital-Wide Roll Out: A Proactive Approach to Supporting Patients with Developmental Disabilities and Behavioral Challenges

    Contains 3 Component(s), 1.5 credits offered

    Children with developmental disabilities experience anxiety in medical settings. Appropriate training and a comprehensive program for support is needed to decrease anxiety-based responses and increase opportunities for preventative care for those patients

    Children with developmental disabilities experience anxiety in medical settings. Appropriate training and a comprehensive program for support is needed to decrease anxiety-based responses and increase opportunities for preventative care for those patients . This presentation will outline how one children's hospital implemented a hospital-wide program using quality improvement methodology. 

    Objectives:
    Identify the unique needs of patients with developmental disabilities and behavioral challenges in the health care setting.
    List specific strategies that have been shown to be effective when working with this population.
    Describe how to implement a program to address the complex needs of these children using electronic medical records and other resources available.
    Increase awareness of the challenges and barriers to implementing a hospital-wide program of this nature.

    Lina Patel

    Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

    Lina Patel, PsyD is an Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, practicing at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Dr. Patel is the Director of Psychology for the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome, a multidisciplinary consultative clinic coordinating care for infants, children, teens and young adults with Down syndrome. She provides consultation with schools, parent training regarding the management of challenging or unsafe behaviors, evaluation for dual diagnoses (Down syndrome and Autism), toilet training, and desensitization to medical devices (such as hearing aids and CPAP) and procedure-related distress. Outside of her clinical work, she has presented to numerous organizations across the country and internationally. She also conducts research on clinical issues impacting those with Down syndrome.

    Dr. Patel received her bachelor degree in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. She received her masters and doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology. She completed her internship training at Boston University Medical Center and her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

    Jennifer H Staab

    CCLS

    Jennifer Staab is a certified child life specialist. Jennifer has worked as a child life specialist for 10 years in a variety of areas. Currently, Jennifer works at Children’s Hospital Colorado as a Supervisor and Research and Quality Improvement Specialist for the Child Life Department. She served as the chair of the Evidenced-Based Practice Committee for the Association for Child Life Professionals (ACLP) (2011-2013), the Research and Scholarship Committee for the ACLP (2015-2016), and the Proposal Subcommittee for the ACLP’s Scientific Advancement of Professional Practice (2016-2018). Jennifer has given numerous professional presentations. She has presented at ACLP’s Annual Conference for Professional Issues (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, & 2017) and the Children’s Hospital Associations Annual Conference (2013 & 2018). Her research interests include identifying the factors associated with children experiencing elevated distress in a healthcare setting and evaluating the efficacy of child life services. She has published two studies. One on assessing pediatric patients for psychosocial risk and one on the efficacy of child life preparation and support in the Emergency Department

  • The Building Blocks of Resilience: Educational, Individual, and Workplace Strategies for Constructing Professional Well-Being

    Contains 3 Component(s), 1.5 credits offered

    Participants will be able to recognize the potential effects of child life work on personal and professional life. In addition, participants will be able to explore strategies to strengthen and support their own resiliency and discuss efforts to create positive change both individually and within their organization

    Participants will be able to recognize the potential effects of child life work on personal and professional life. In addition, participants will be able to explore strategies to strengthen and support their own resiliency and discuss efforts to create positive change both individually and within their organization. Lastly, the audience will be able to understand strategies to cultivate compassion satisfaction and nurture vicarious resilience. 

    Objectives:
    Explore the potential effects of child life work on personal and professional life.
    Explore strategies to strengthen and support their own resiliency and discuss efforts to create positive change within an organization.
    Understand strategies to nurture vicarious resilience.

    Cara Calderon

    CCLS

    Cheryl P. Lawrence

    CCLS

  • "They Don't Believe my Pain is Real": Improving Care for Patients with Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders

    Contains 3 Component(s), 1 credit offered

    Somatic symptom and related disorders (SSRD) are a group of mental health disorders occurring in all patient populations. Typically considered outside of the child life scope of practice, child life specialists can play an instrumental role in streamlining support and diagnosis. Participants will learn how to recognize SSRD through the child life assessment, adapt care plans, and create resources to improve patient care and benefit hospitals fiscally. Learning Objectives: Discuss factors that indicate that a patient may have somatic symptom and related disorders (SSRD) when completing a child life assessment. Explore a modified child life care plan which supports patients with suspected or diagnosed SSRD. Examine how the child life role on the interdisciplinary team improves optimal patient care for SSRD and benefits the hospital system-wide.

    Somatic symptom and related disorders (SSRD) are a group of mental health disorders occurring in all patient populations. Typically considered outside of the child life scope of practice, child life specialists can play an instrumental role in streamlining support and diagnosis. Participants will learn how to recognize SSRD through the child life assessment, adapt care plans, and create resources to improve patient care and benefit hospitals fiscally. Learning

    Objectives:
    Discuss factors that indicate that a patient may have somatic symptom and related disorders (SSRD) when completing a child life assessment.
    Explore a modified child life care plan which supports patients with suspected or diagnosed SSRD.
    Examine how the child life role on the interdisciplinary team improves optimal patient care for SSRD and benefits the hospital system-wide. 

    Natalie Wilson

    CCLS

    Natalie Wilson is a certified child life specialist who holds a Master of Arts degree in childhood studies with completed research on improving psychosocial support for children with chronic illness. She has worked at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada for the past four years and is a member of the Somatization Strategy Task Force to streamline support for families. Natalie previously worked at the Young Carers Program of Hospice Toronto for five years where she created a community child life program, including group programming that has been replicated across the province. Natalie is passionate about empowering children from a child and family-centred care model.

  • Catheters, Flushes, Ostomies, Oh My!: Providing Psychosocial Interventions for the Colorectal and Urology Population

    Contains 3 Component(s), 1 credit offered

    ​This presentation shares how a child life specialist supports patients and families of the colorectal population, in an inpatient and outpatient setting. Common diagnoses, bowel/urological regimens, and specific therapeutic interventions to promote the coping and understanding of clinical and surgical treatments will be reviewed.

    This presentation shares how a child life specialist supports patients and families of the colorectal population, in an inpatient and outpatient setting. Common diagnoses, bowel/urological regimens, and specific therapeutic interventions to promote the coping and understanding of clinical and surgical treatments will be reviewed. These interventions are founded in medical play and adaptable across diverse and international patient populations.

    Objectives:
    Describe the psychosocial needs of patients with invasive surgical procedures.
    Identify common colorectal diagnoses and options to promote bowel and urinary management.
    Learn and utilize various therapeutic interventions to promote coping, education, and normalization for this population and ways to adapt with other populations.

    Katrina R. Hall

    CCLS

    Katrina Hall, MA, CCLS, is a Child Life Specialist at Nationwide Children's Hospital and supports the patients and families of the Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction. Katrina covers both inpatient and outpatient areas to promote continuity of care. Katrina received her master’s degree in Child Life from The University of Akron. Katrina joined Nationwide Children's Hospital over two years ago and has covered multiple areas before finding a passion for the colorectal population.