Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital

Mission Statement

The Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital is committed to providing patients and families with family centered care through assessment, intervention, advocacy, education, and play in the healthcare environment. We strive to promote emotional healing for children and families by supporting an environment that encourages optimal growth and development.

Nine Child Life Specialists providing services to:

  • 4th, 6th, and 7th Tower Inpatient Units
  • Radiology
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Emergency Department
  • Day Surgery
  • Hematology/Oncology Clinic
  • Outpatient Renal Dialysis
  • Partial coverage is also provided to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

What is a Child Life Specialist?

  • Child Life Specialists are trained professionals with a minimum of a bachelor's degree in child development, education, or related field.
  • They focus on providing psychosocial and emotional support to children and families to reduce stress and anxiety while in the healthcare setting.
  • This is accomplished through:
    • -Performing developmentally appropriate procedural preparations
      -Providing support during procedures and throughout the child's stay
      -Promoting effective coping techniques
      -Conducting diagnosis education
      -Encouraging play

In addition to the care given to patients, Child Life Specialists also provide information, education, and support for caregivers, siblings, and family members.

The Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital recognizes the importance of our patients having strength and support of caregivers and family members while hospitalized. For that reason we work hard to collaborate with other healthcare professionals in order to foster an environment of family centered care. Supporting family centered care encourages caregivers and families to be active participants in their child's healing process.


Child Life Specialists utilize a variety of techniques to provide accurate and appropriate medical preparations for patients. At Driscoll Children's Hospital, preparation tools consist of:
  • Honest descriptions of upcoming medical procedures using developmentally appropriate language
  • Photo preparation books
  • Identifying and practicing coping techniques
  • Exploration of medical equipment through medical play

Support and Coping:

During procedures, Child Life Specialists are available to provide:
  • Emotional support for patients
  • Explain the sequence of events of the procedure
  • Encourage the use of coping techniques in order to give children a sense of control and mastery over their healthcare experience

Each child is unique and has his/her own way of coping with being hospitalized and with procedures. Child Life Specialists are able to work with patients to identify the coping techniques that work best for that child.

Coping techniques used may include:
  • Deep breathing
  • Utilization of distraction items
  • Guided imagery
  • Physical touch - an additional technique to provide comfort and support.
  • Positioning for comfort can be utilized by allowing the caregiver or Child Life Specialist to hold, sit next to, or sit alongside the child during a medical procedure. This helps the child to feel secure, comforted and supported by a trusted adult. Additional comfort items consist of a security blanket or the child's personal stuffed animal.


  • Play has a vital role in promoting a child's growth and development.
  • In the Child Life profession play is used therapeutically, medically, and recreationally to give children a sense of mastery, control, and normalization while hospitalized.
  • In order to normalize the healthcare setting the 4th, 6th, and 7th tower inpatient units have playrooms containing developmentally appropriate toys, games, and activities.
  • In addition to a playroom, the 4th & 6th towers also have Teen Lounges for patients 11 and older containing video games, board games, crafts, and activities more suitable for our older patients.
  • Outpatient clinics including Day Surgery and Hematology/Oncology Clinic have playrooms for patients as well.

Lean On Me Support Group

Lean On Me is a bereavement support group designed especially for bereaved children. After losing a loved one, children may feel isolated. Through attending this support group they are able to meet other children who are also coping with a loved one's death. Children who attend Lean On Me participate in age appropriate education and expressive activities, which serve as opportunities for assisting in the development of coping strategies to help the child through the grief process. Lean on Me is offered twice a year, meeting once a week for six weeks. The dates offered vary. For more information regarding the next scheduled Lean on Me Support Group, please contact the Child Life office.

Child Life Volunteers

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 a child's stay at Driscoll Children's Hospital be 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 volunteers please contact the Driscoll Children's Hospital Volunteer Department at (361) 694-5011.

Interested in Child Life and New to the Field?


Practicum Application

Contact Information

Driscoll Children's Hospital
Stripes Child Life Program at Driscoll Children's Hospital

3533 S. Alameda Street
Corpus Christi, Texas 78411

Phone: (361) 694-5048

For TTY Deaf Messaging Connect to TTY Interpretation by dialing
(800) 735-2989
Blowing bubbles is a coping technique used to encourage deep breathing, which aids in relaxation and reducing anxiety.
Preparation techniques are used to educate patients on upcoming surgeries and procedures.
Teaching dolls such as Radical Randy, are used for diagnosis education and to allow for medical play opportunities.

Patients & Families


Driscoll Children's Hospital adds eight AEDs to non-clinical areas

February 12, 2015
Driscoll Children's Hospital purchased eight Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), which will be placed in non-clinical areas of the hospital courtesy of a generous donation from the Auxiliary to Driscoll Children's Hospital. The $15,800 donation will help make every hospital visitor - including friends and families of patients...

Once-fragile preemies and their families reconnect with Driscoll staff at NICU Reunion

October 13, 2014
DSC_0448 Infants in Driscoll Children's Hospital's...

Hospital's patients to have signing for Christmas book they created

October 13, 2014
Allison Shaffer is a burgeoning young writer, but she already knows the key to being a great author - create stories that come from personal experience. That's what the 17-year-old former Driscoll Children's Hospital patient did when she wrote "Tiny, The Small Christmas Tree," a Christmas book written by Shaffer and illustrated by...

May is National Trauma Awareness Month

May 05, 2014
Remember to always wear your helmet!
CORPUS CHRISTI - According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration more children ages 5 -14 go to emergency rooms for bicycle related injuries than with any other sport, many are head injuries. It is important to keep your head safe and always wear a helmet when participating in a wheeled sport. Here are some tips from...

Driscoll's kidney transplant recipients come from all over South Texas for annual Reunion

April 28, 2014
CORPUS CHRISTI - On Saturday, Driscoll Children's Hospital will celebrate seven years of renal transplants with patients and their families at the annual Transplant Reunion. For nearly 10 years, Driscoll's Kidney Center has offered comprehensive kidney care to the children of South Texas, including transplantation, general nephrology...