St. Jude Child Life Specialist prepares children, parents

By Ursula Madden - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Jennifer Smith is one of 14 Child Life Specialists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and her role is a complex one.

"I work with children and families to help them be more prepared for what's going to happen here," Smith said.  "I teach them about their diagnosis and I teach them about the procedures they are going to have here."

Her job includes explaining treatments, medicines and their side effects on a level kids can understand.

"A lot of times we will use dolls," Smith said.  "We use this to show as realistically as possible what something is going to look like."

Smith said she would not be able to do her job without generous donations.

"This all wouldn't happen if we didn't have the facilities and the ability to do these things," Smith said.  "If we don't have people helping us and giving us money and donations and funds then we can't do our job."

Patients at St. Jude see an average of six Child Life Specialists during their time at the hospital.

Smith works in ICU and said some kids are there for 24 hours, while others are there for as long as six to seven weeks.

You can purchase a ticket for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway at any Regions Bank, Crye-Leike Realtors, Samuel's Furniture & Interiors, or by clicking here.

Tickets are $100 and all the money goes to treating patients at St. Jude.

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