Meeting Families Where They Are: Using Assessment to Get There
The way families react to the medical environment drives how clinicians provide support. By thoroughly assessing the family, the clinician can provide the best individualized care. Conflict can occur when a family’s opinion of their own needs does not align with the assessment of the child life specialist and medical team. The clinicians must adapt to the needs of the patient and the family in order to provide the highest quality of care. This presentation will highlight the benefits of evaluating each family and how to incorporate that information into daily practice.
Amy Kennedy earned her Bachelor of Science degree in child and family development from Missouri State University in 1995 and became a Certified Child Life Specialist in 1998. Amy previously worked at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis for 3 years. As lead child life specialist for the child life program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Amy is responsible for providing child life services in the radiation oncology clinic. Throughout her 18 years with St. Jude, she has held positions on the bone marrow transplant unit and worked as the inpatient specialist serving patients with leukemia, lymphoma, or solid tumors. As a lead child life specialist Amy assists in research, facilitating clinical supervision, and providing leadership and mentorship to her peers within the child life program. In all of her roles her focus has been on providing individualized support to meet the needs of the patients and families where they were in their healthcare experience.
Ashley Anderst earned her BS degree at the University of North Dakota in 2007, where she majored in early childhood education. Ashley completed her child life internship at Shriners Hospital for Children in Spokane, WA. Ashley began her career in the child life field at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spokane, WA in 2008 where she provided per diem services to all clinical areas. Ashley continued her career at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN in 2008 and is currently providing care to patients and families in neuro-oncology. During her time at St. Jude, Ashley has served on the hospital’s Professional Excellence Council which promotes clinical excellence within the institution. In every setting, Ashley has focused on the importance of meeting each family where they are to provide individualized support during their hospital experience.