Child Life Services

Our Child Life Specialist works with children to help them feel comfortable, to understand what will happen during a procedure and to learn what to expect during their hospital stay.

The Child Life Specialist offers both children and families a way to cope with the stresses of their healthcare experience using a variety of methods such as:

  • medical play
  • play therapy
  • free play
  • pre-procedural teaching
  • social interaction
  • distraction techniques
  • support during medical procedures

The Child Life Specialist also coordinates group activities for the children and families staying in the Pediatric Unit. Some of these activities include visits from the Jackson General's baseball players, movie nights, and pet therapy. These events and activities can take the child's focus away from their present environment and allow them to simply be a child again.

In addition to special events, the Child Life Specialist maintains a playroom for children full of toys, games and videos. For those children who may not be able to leave their rooms, toys, video games and movies may be checked out and taken to their rooms.

For more information about the Child Life Services program, call 731-541-4448.

To learn more about helping the children served through this program, please contact the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation at 731-984-2140.

Toy Donations

Play experiences can help children cope and adjust to illness and hospitalization.  Play is one way we meet the developmental, psychosocial, emotional and educational needs of our young patients.

You can help our patients by making a donation of new toys, games and other supplies.  Contact the Child Life office at 731-541-4448 for more details.  Or you can also support the Child Life program by making a monetary donation to the Playthings for Pediatrics Fund by calling the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation at 731-984-2140 or click here.

Child Life Practicum

The child life practicum experience at Ayers Children’s Medical Center is designed to expose the practicum student to the Child Life profession through observation and supervised participation. The practicum student is an upper level college student supervised by a Certified Child Life Specialist. 

Practicum opportunities are offered to one student in the Spring semester and one student in the Fall semester.  Students will complete 8-10 hours a week for the semester. 

To apply for a practicum, review the following information and return the appropriate forms by the deadline indicated:

West Tennessee Healthcare (WTH) does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, Limited English Proficiency or sex, including discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, sex stereotyping or pregnancy in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities, whether carried out by WTH directly or through a contractor or any other entity with which WTH arranges to carry out its programs and activities.