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Teen and Emerging Adult Program

Child life specialists aren’t only for kids. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has specialists who also know how to work with teens and emerging adults.

Image of two teens and older female at table with demonstration doll

A child life specialist can help you feel less stressed while you are going through treatment. They understand that teens and emerging adults have unique needs and challenges when facing illness and hospitalization.

One way child life specialists help is by making sure that you understand exactly what is happening in the hospital and why. They can also help to:

  • Prepare you for medical procedures and tests
  • Help you to find ways to cope with hard times
  • Help you stay connected to friends
  • Make sure you have time to focus on the things that you love to do
  • Talk or just listen if you feel like talking to someone

Child life specialists plan activities for people your age in the Teen Room. During these activities, the child life team can introduce you to other teen and emerging adult patients going through experiences like yours.

Teen Rooms

As a teenager, you know how important it is to have some independence. You also want to spend time with friends your own age. That is what the Teen Rooms are all about.

The Teen Rooms were designed to give you your own place in the hospital. Only patients, siblings, and friends 13 years or older can come in. No parents, doctors, or nurses are allowed. The only adults who can come in are child life specialists and volunteers. Child life specialists plan activities for outpatient group time. There are also many things to do on your own.

The outpatient Teen Room is between the Patient Care Center (PCC) lobby and the south clinic waiting areas. It features:

  • Games
  • Art supplies
  • A streaming device
  • Video games
  • A pool table
  • A basketball hoop
  • A space to hang out with friends

The inpatient Teen Room is on the Kay Research and Care Center (KRCC) 5th floor. It is open to 13–19 year olds who are currently inpatient. It offers:

  • A big-screen TV
  • A streaming device
  • Video game systems
  • A computer
  • Art supplies
  • Books, board games, and card games
  • A space to hang out with friends

Teen and emerging adult events

Child life specialists also host events just for teens and emerging adults. These events are a fun way to do something you love, hang out with people your age, and express yourself. Be sure to check the Our St. Jude App social tab for the latest events. Events may include:

  • Teen groups (13+ years)
  • Emerging adult groups (20+ years)
  • Events in the teen room (parties)

The Teen and Emerging Adult (TEA) Oncology Program

Child life specialists work closely with your care team to make sure your needs are met while you are at the hospital. The TEA Oncology Program was created to help people your age have the information, support, and activities they need to make the hospital less stressful. Ask your child life specialist for more information on how the program can support you and your family.

Your child life team

St. Jude child life specialists are nationally certified. They have bachelor’s or master’s degrees, with backgrounds in human growth and development, education, psychology, or counseling.

Contact the Child Life team

Child Life Department
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
MS 121, Room B2095
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN  38105-3678

Phone: 901-595-3020
Fax: 901-595-2690

Learn more