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Mary Wallace, CCLS, the child life specialist for the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital, has begun working in the pediatrics units. She previously worked at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia, and she recently completed an internship at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC.
“Both children and parents have fears and anxieties about being in the hospital,” Wallace said. “I teach the parents about their child’s condition and treatment, which helps give them a sense of control. I also work with siblings so they have a better understanding of why their brother or sister is in the hospital and ways that they can support and care for him or her.”
“Even more important is the time I spend time with the child who is the patient, talking about what is going to happen, and letting him or her handle some of the equipment that may be used so that it becomes familiar,” she continued. “I encourage normal activities as much as possible, including playing games and interacting with peers. My goal is to address the child’s fears and uncertainty so that the hospital stay will be less traumatic.”
Wallace works with patients in the Pediatric Unit and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and she is available to assist with pediatric patients receiving services in thother units throughout the hospital.