My decision to pursue this career is because I feel that I learn from kids every single day. Sick children are amazing. They don’t act like they are sick. -Laurel Schnitman
Meet Laurel Schnitman: wife, mother of two and certified child life specialist for Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. I didn’t have to go very far to find Laurel, because she lives right across the street! We settled into my living room for a conversation about her career and her passion for working with children while making sure we practiced social distancing! As part of a team of 15 child life specialists, Laurel provides psychosocial, medical play therapy and procedural support for children during hospital stays. Many of the children she helps are hospitalized for long periods of time and she has experienced the heartache of losing her young patients to the illnesses that brought them to the hospital in the first place. Laurel is that critical bridge between doctors, nurses, parents and children, offering sage advice and comfort when it is needed the most. In this interview, Laurel shares her experience of working with children and families at the most vulnerable times in their lives to shed some light on how our children are reacting to the stress and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Anxiety and fear come from the unknown. When you can give children a predictable environment at home, that can really help to reduce fear and anxiety.” For a tutorial on helping your child maneuver the rough seas of a worldwide pandemic, press that download button. #wereallinthistogether.