Making a Positive Connection

Driscoll’s Child Life Program helps create emotional outlets and address mental health stressors felt by children and caregivers during their healthcare experience.

Child Life Specialists and Assistants

When children are in medical need, the hospital is the safest place for them to be. But even with the best care available, kids can still feel uncomfortable or scared at times. Child life specialists serve a broad role at Driscoll Children’s Hospital, Corpus Christi. They can:
  • Prepare your child for procedures or surgeries using language that children understand
  • Provide support and distraction during medical procedures
  • Introduce coping strategies to help reduce anxiety and enhance cooperation
  • Help your child understand their diagnosis and treatment
  • Offer legacy building and bereavement support
  • Provide information, education and support for caregivers, siblings and other family members
  • Offer opportunities for play, socialization and expressive activities

A Dedicated Team of Child Life Specialists, Child Life Assistants and Art Therapists

Every team member supports patients and families throughout their healthcare experiences by providing services to:

  • Inpatient units in Corpus Christi
  • Radiology
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Emergency Department
  • Day Surgery
  • Cancer and Blood Disorders Units
  • Designated Outpatient Clinics
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Learn more about Therapeutic Arts

How We Help


Play has a vital role in promoting a child’s growth and development. It allows for self-expression, enhances the child’s ability to cope with stress, provides for a sense of control, normalizes the healthcare setting and helps meet developmental milestones.

At the Corpus Christi Hospital - Playrooms are located on the 4th, 6th, and 7th towers, in Day Surgery and in the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. In addition, the 4th and 6th towers and the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center have Teen Rooms available for patients 11 years and older.


Children who have been prepared for healthcare events experience less fear and anxiety and tend to adjust more effectively to future medical encounters. Child life specialists prepare patients through the use of:

  • Appropriate explanations of procedures based on the child’s age and understanding
  • Techniques for coping with anxiety and stress
  • Medical play to promote mastery of medical procedures using teaching dolls and medical books
  • Pre-Op Tour

Support and Coping During Procedures

Each child is unique and processes stressful events differently. When a child is allowed to choose effective coping methods for a medical procedure, it provides a sense of control during their experience.

Child life specialists guide and support children through difficult procedures utilizing a variety of techniques such as:

  • Step-by-step explanation throughout a procedure
  • Pain management techniques
  • Distraction
  • Coping methods such as deep breathing, blowing bubbles or holding a caregiver’s hand
  • Positioning for comfort, allows a caregiver to hold or sit closely alongside the child during a medical procedure. This helps the child feel secure, comforted and supported by a trusted adult.

How you can help


The Child Life Department relies heavily on Child Life volunteers to help provide support and play opportunities for patients. Our volunteers are specially trained to work with patients and their families and are instrumental in helping make every child's stay at Driscoll Children's Hospital, Corpus Christi a positive experience. In addition to supporting our patients and their families, Child Life volunteers help in maintaining clean and safe playroom environments for our patients. If you are interested in becoming a Child Life volunteer, please visit  Volunteer Services.

Become a Child Life Volunteer

Child Life Clinical Internship is available. Learn More

The Child Life Practicum is not currently being offered.

If you are interested in learning more about the Child Life profession, please visit 

For TTY Deaf Messaging, connect to TTY Interpretation by dialing (800) 735-2989.

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