A Place for Sibs at Children’s – National Siblings Day

IMG_8966When you work in Child Life, you have the best job; you get to have fun almost every day and you make people smile who may not be in the best of spirits under the circumstances of being in the hospital. I personally decided to become a Child Life Assistant because I love kids. I know of no other profession that you can make a tiny imprint on another human being and anyone who works with children does just that.

Today is National Siblings Day and the children I get to encounter are a little different than my colleagues, because I get the opportunity to work with siblings of the patients at the Lemieux Sibling Center inside Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. I may never have the chance to meet the patient, but I get to know the siblings and their families. But, often, I do get to the meet the entire family and it is fulfilling to get a connection to each of them.

The Lemieux Sibling Center is a therapeutic activity center where brothers or sisters of patients can go to be engaged in developmentally appropriate play activities in a welcoming, fun, and friendly environment. While attending, children have the opportunity to ask questions regarding their siblings’ hospital experience and get answers that they can understand by the our staff.

In the Sibling Center, we make more of an impact on the family as a whole. We create a fun environment for kids and a safe space that the parents are comfortable with. Siblings enjoy coming here for a few hours and parents are relieved by this and can focus more on their child who is here for medical care.

We are a team at Children’s, and knowing that each of us can make a difference for families, even if it’s just for a few hours in the Sibling Center, is meaningful for me. And, this is why I have the best job.

The Sibling Center is open to siblings of both inpatients and outpatients between the ages of 3 to 12 years old on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information or to make an appointment, visit www.chp.edu/CHP/sibling.