Psychosocial  ::  Nationwide Children's Hospital

Psychosocial Services

When your child is sick, it can be hard to understand what is happening, to make decisions and to juggle family responsibilities. At Nationwide Children’s, our Psychosocial Services Team will help your child understand what they are going through, assist them in coping with their new diagnosis, minimize stress and fears about medical procedures and treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation or surgery, and help siblings understand what is happening to their brother or sister. We also work closely with your child's school to ensure they stay on track and assist their peers in better understanding why they are not in school. We know one family member’s illness impacts everyone else, so we create an environment where your child can achieve their best health and your family can receive the support to positively cope with your child’s treatment and care. 
 
Each patient receives an individualized care plan that focuses on their needs, age and overall care from diagnosis, through active care and remission or end of life. It’s important to remember that childhood cancer is a family disease, significantly affecting the lives of the patients but also their parents, siblings and the community. 
 
Our patients and their families can participate in services and activities that complement medical care and bring comfort during a difficult time. Your family will work with specialists in the following areas: 
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Clinical social workers practice in collaboration with the health care team and engage
with families to identify and address barriers to wellness. We focus our work on the 
relationship between family and illness. Our primary motivation is to support the 
strengths of families to address their own needs. We engage services within the hospital 
and greater community to further support optimal family functioning. 


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Pediatric psychologists at Nationwide Children’s are experts in providing specialized
Assessment and intervention services for children and adolescents with medical 
Conditions and their families within various settings.: in the outpatient care setting,
Inpatient medical units of the hospital, and as part of the interdisciplinary medical
Teams in specialty clinics. Pediatric psychologists focus on the relationship between
Children’s cognitive, social and emotional functioning and their physical well-being. 


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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 par tof 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 


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Therapeutic Recreation uses activities to treat children who have a physical, mental or
emotional disability. It is a form of active treatment that works to improve the 
functioning of kids disabled by trauma or disease. Through play activities, children 
are helped to adjust to daily living and enjoy social contacts.


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Massage Therapy is a form of therapy that uses the gentle application of systematic touch, focusing on specific areas of the body, or the whole body, for the purpose of promoting healing and relaxation. Some of the major goals of massage therapy include promoting relaxation, reducing stress, relieving tension and/or pain, increasing circulation of blood and lymph, promoting feelings of safety/comfort/well-being, enhancing self-esteem, and reducing anxiety/depression.


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Chaplains provide emotional and spiritual support for patients, families and staff. Support is given to those of all faiths and cultures. Highly trained chaplains are available 24 hours a day, and can be reached by asking a nurse, calling the hospital operator or directly to the Pastoral Care Department.


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Music therapists use music and the experiences that accompany it to accomplish non-musical goals.  Our therapists are nationally certified by the Certification Board for Music Therapists, and they provide individual and group sessions for patients of all ages and their families. Patients need no prior music experience or music ability to benefit from music therapy.
 


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Occupational Therapy is a skilled treatment that focuses on facilitating development, enhancing function and maximizing independence in all daily life activities. The word "occupation" refers to play, self-care, school work and other activities that occupy a child's time. The focus of Occupational Therapy is to provide services to children with varying deficits or delays, which may include fine motor, sensory motor, self-care, cognitive and oral motor/feeding skills. 
 
Physical Therapy refers to the various treatment methods used to develop or restore movement, promote healing and function, and educate children and their families. Physical Therapy cares for patients who have a temporary or permanent disability due to injury, disease, birth defect or pain. Therapists also evaluate and instruct children in the use of wheelchairs, braces, crutches, walkers, canes or other durable medical equipment.  The goal of the Physical Therapy program is to help the child enjoy life by attaining his/her optimum level of independence.


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When a student is in the hospital for a long or frequent stays of a few days over the course of several months, the hospital teacher can provide help with school work. Columbus City Schools has assigned one full time and one half time teacher to the Hematology/Oncology Unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Those teachers help the student work from their home school and coordinate instruction with the teacher at home. Hospital school can occur in the patient’s room or in the H12 Classroom. It may be individual instruction or sometimes a small group can learn together. We also have access to virtual field trips and other similar experiences through technology and resources on the hospital unit.


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Art Therapists use the creative process and experience of making art to support the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals. Our art therapist provides individual, group, and family art therapy sessions for patients of all ages and their families.
 
Patients and their families do not need to be artists or have any art experience or knowledge to participate in or benefit from art therapy. Rather, art therapy focuses on embracing and exploring art’s process within a caring, supportive, and non-judgmental environment. This creative process involved in art-making can foster individual growth and self-insight, and improve an individual’s overall well-being.


Every patient will see members of our interdisciplinary team in order to provide comprehensive and complete care. Meet our team

Contact Hematology, Oncology & BMT

Psychosocial Services Leadership

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