Document Type



When students return to school after hospitalization, many aspects of their development are impacted. During the transition back to school after hospitalization students often face social, emotional, and academic challenges. Child life specialists typically work in hospital settings to support the social-emotional well-being of pediatric patients. Child life specialists are highly equipped to support students returning to school after hospitalization and would be a valuable asset to all school systems. Research for this study was conducted through literature reviews, an interview with a child life specialist who is currently working within a school, and surveys of school nurses and child life specialists in hospital settings. Results found that child life specialists can provide a wide array of services to students returning from hospitalization, as well as students facing an assortment of other, more common challenges (anxiety, social challenges, sick family member, etc.).


Elementary and Early Childhood Education

Thesis Comittee

Dr. Jo Hoffman, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Kevin McGowan, Committee Member
Prof. Anne Marie Rodrigues, Committee Member