Undergoing surgery and/or diagnostic procedures can be very stressful for children and their families. Child Life Specialist Haley Wildenberg can help patients up to age 18 and families adjust to and cope with the health care environment and the many events that happen during a visit to the hospital. She will be working primarily with patients and their families in Surgery, the Special Procedures Unit and the MRI on the La Crosse and Sparta campuses.
Child life specialists are development experts who support coping and adjustment through therapeutic play, age-appropriate education and preparation, and expressive activities to reduce fear, anxiety and pain for infants, children and youth.
The child life specialist can provide resources and ideas that can help your child learn about the surgery or test and help him or her feel less afraid and more prepared for what is going to happen.
As part of the healthcare team, the child life specialist will advocate for the special needs of children and their families.