Child Life Specialists :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Child Life Specialists

Patients and families have various developmental, educational, psychosocial and recreational needs.  Child Life staff members are certified professionals who are educated in child life, child development and related fields.


Child Life staff members are certified professionals who are prepared at bachelor’s and master’s levels in Child Life, child development and other related fields.  The Child Life Program staff members are part of the health care team, and they contribute to each patient’s care to achieve the following goals:

  • Minimize fears and stress experienced by children, adolescents and families as related to health care experiences
  • Support the patient’s emotional, social and cognitive growth in the context of his/her family, culture and developmental stage
  • Provide age appropriate and safe play environments
  • Implement a wide range of recreational events and activities
  • Enhance the patient’s understanding of medical procedures and diagnoses using age-appropriate techniques
  • Support patients and families in continuing everyday living experiences as much as possible

At Nationwide Children’s Hospital, our Child Life Specialists have a blended role coordinating both Child Life and Volunteer Programs and are housed within the Family and Volunteer Services Department. The blended role enables the Child Life specialist to provide a broader scope of support for children and families.


Surgery for a child is an experience that involves the entire family. Nationwide Children’s Outpatient Surgery and Surgery Center have the on-site "Welcome Walk" tour to help both families and the patient understand their upcoming procedure.

View our tours and share them with your child so you both know what to expect before you arrive. If you don't know the surgery location, ask your referring physician or check your surgery guide if you've been given one.
Surgery Center Tour | Surgery Unit Tour

Would you like a personal tour for you and your family? We offer tours for both our Surgery Center and Surgery Unit. The appointment includes a tour, a time to explore medical equipment and a question and answer time for your family. To request a tour, you may call us at (614) 722-2929 or complete our Surgery Tour Request Form.

Need directions on how to get here and where to park? Check out our main campus map, directions and parking information.

Child Life Clinical Experiences

Nationwide Children’s Hospital is pleased to offer clinical experiences for students. We work closely with students to ensure the highest quality of learning opportunities. We offer two different student experiences- Our Practicum which is an introductory experience to the child life profession and an Internship to provide advanced experience to further develop skills for child life students.  Please refer to our Cover Letter for more information on the programs, prerequisites, and application information.  Download the application and Addendum materials to apply now. If you have any questions regarding our student opportunities, please feel free to contact the Family and Volunteer Services Department at (614) 722-3635.

Department Highlights

At Children’s Hospital, your child’s comfort counts    

Parents and other caregivers are very important in a child’s life. Children look to their parents and caregivers for security when they are afraid. Having a parent or other loved one present may be the best psychological treatment for pain. Children feel more secure when their parents are with them.

Parents know their child the best. If you feel that your child may be experiencing pain or discomfort, please tell us. We want to help.

Child Life Specialists Contact Info

Meet Our Child Life Specialists Leadership

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000