Child Life Program Overview

Girl Using Stethoscope on PuppetThe Child Life Program at The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital (BMSCH) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick is available to assist patients and families in making the hospital experience a positive one, by helping with the overall adjustment to hospitalization, illness or injury and treatment.

Our team of child life specialists is specially trained to help children and their families understand and manage challenging life events and stressful health care experiences.

Specialists provide developmental, educational and therapeutic interventions that support growth and development, recognize family strengths and individuality, and respect different methods of coping.

What the Child Life Program Provides

  • Age appropriate preparation for surgery, medical procedures, tests and treatments
  • Hands-on learning experiences to teach children and siblings about all aspects of hospitalization
  • Therapeutic art and recreational sessions in the activity centers and at the bedside
  • Music Therapy to help children during their hospital experience.
  • Activities to help “normalize” the hospital stay, including play, special events, holiday celebrations and parties
  • Emotional support to help patients and family members minimize the stress that often surrounds hospitalization
  • Guided imagery, relaxation and distraction sessions
  • Community outreach programs for preschool through high school students

About Our Team

The Director of the Child Life Program is in charge of the operations of the Child Life Program. As a certified Child Life Specialist, the director supports BMSCH's mission of family-centered care.

Activity Centers for Young Children and Teens

Two separate playrooms, one located in our pediatric unit and the other located in our pediatric hematology/oncology unit, are open to pediatric patients for therapeutic art and play sessions.

Community Outreach

Available to pre-schools and kindergartens, this presentation is designed to introduce children to the hospital by providing a meaningful and fun learning experience.