What’s It Like to Help Children Cope With Hospital Life?

In this episode of Working, we talk with a child life specialist at NYU Langone’s Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital.

Jami Barretta.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo via Jami Barretta.

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Chances are, you don’t know much about Jami Barretta’s job. But you really should.

Jami is a child life specialist at the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, which means she is in charge of the education and emotional well-being of patients whose ages range from toddlers to teenagers. She and her colleagues work with the young patients and their families to help them cope with the stress and confusion of a hospital stay.

In this episode, Jami explains how play can be an important tool for helping kids understand medical procedures, the differences between gaining the trust of 6-year-old and a 16-year-old, and why her job is actually a lot more joyful than people think.

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Podcast production by Jessamine Molli.