Don't let the name "child life specialist" fool you. St. Jude has specialists whose only job is to work with teens. The child life specialist's job is to help you feel less stressed while you are going through treatment. One way they do this is by helping you to understand exactly what is happening in the hospital and why. They can also prepare you for medical procedures and tests you may need. They are there to help you to find ways to cope with hard times and available to just talk if you feel like talking. Teen child life specialists plan activities in the Teen Room and can introduce you to other teen patients going through experiences similar to yours.
As a teenager, you know the importance of having some independence. You also want to spend time with friends your own age. That’s exactly what the Teen Room is all about! The Teen Room was designed to give teens you your own place in the hospital. Patient, 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 but there are also a lot of things to do on your own. The outpatient teen room is full of games, art supplies, a DVD player, video games, computers, and a pool table. The inpatient teen room is on the KRCC 5th floor and is open to 13-19 year olds who are currently inpatient. There is a big-screen TV, DVD player, video game systems, computer, and space to hang out with friends. There are also big events just for teens that you can attend and even help to plan, including the annual Teen Art Show and Teen Formal.
Private Social Networking Site
St. Jude Teens, the private social networking site for St. Jude teen patients, can be accessed from the hospital or at home. You can develop a profile with photos and information. Then you can use your profile to connect with other teen members of the site to share information and support one another while going through treatment. This site is secure and unable to be accessed by the public. Child life will provide education and information about St. Jude services and announce upcoming teen events and opportunities.