St. Louis Children’s Hospital is home to many highly trained pediatric-focused specialists who helps us provide high quality care to our patients.
Child-life specialists are pediatric health care professionals who work with children and families to help them cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness, and disability. They provide children with age-appropriate preparation for medical procedures, pain management, and coping strategies. They also provide information, support, and guidance to parents, siblings, and other family members. Our child-life specialists are available during the busiest times of the day, every day of the week and help to provide a calming, relaxed, and gentle environment to patients and families in otherwise scary and stressful procedures and situations.
Our specially trained pediatric emergency department social workers are present 24 hours a day to help our patients and families. From supporting families through medical emergencies and trauma to helping the medical team navigate child protection emergencies, the social workers are an integral part of the medical team. In addition, they provide safety and health information to families, including counseling on safe sleep, safe gun storage, postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. They can provide necessary equipment such as pack and plays and gun locks to families who need them. Our social workers also provide information about valuable community resources related to nutrition, safe housing, and healthcare. In addition, we have a dedicated community coordinator who serves our families by helping them establish with a pediatrician and arrange emergency department follow up visits with primary care providers and subspecialty services to help children stay out of the emergency department and get the long-term care they need.
We have numerous specially trained nurses and nurse practitioners credentialed as sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) who are on call 24 hours a day. These NPs and RNs are specially trained to perform forensic histories, clinical exam, and evidence collection. Working with our social workers, they assist families in making police reports and arranging follow up with our child abuse pediatricians.