Stephanie Park is a Child Life specialist in the Emergency department at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. The Foundation-funded Child Life department at the Stollery helps kids adjust to and understand hospitalization, treatment and illness — all while making sure kids still get to be kids.
As a Child Life specialist in the Emergency department, Stephanie’s job is to work with the interdisciplinary team to support patients and promote coping. Her focus is providing evidence-based, developmentally and psychologically appropriate interventions including therapeutic play, preparation for procedures and education – all with the goal of reducing fear, anxiety and pain for her patients.
On top of her work at the Hospital, she is currently pursuing a masters in counselling degree!
Let’s find out more about Stephanie:
What do you like most about your job?
The look of pride on a patients face when they accomplish a difficult task. When children are afraid of upcoming procedures, I will engage them in preparation and offer appropriate choices so that they feel a sense of control in a situation that is otherwise out of their control. Sometimes I can go through an entire preparation process with a patient and they are still scared, which is normal; however once the procedure is over they say, “That wasn’t so bad!” and they have the most amazing look of pride on their face.
Do you have a standout Stollery memory?
Although not a memory, the Stollery stands out to me because of the opportunity it has given me to pursue my passion. As a wheelchair user pursuing Child Life, I was met with a lot of discrimination and preconceived notions that simply were not true. I am grateful to the Stollery for looking past my physical limitations and seeing the strengths that I can offer our patients and families.
Have donor funds directly impacted the area you work in?
The Child Life department is greatly impacted by donors. From the extensive toys and monetary donations we are given at Christmas to the generous support we are given throughout the rest of the year, we greatly appreciate donors.
What is your favourite kid’s book?
I have so many favourite kid’s books! I guess it depends on what the book is for. My favourite kid’s book to support the loss of a loved one is The Invisible String by Patrice Karst. My favourite all around kid’s books are anything by Robert Munsch! I read every single one of them with my parents as a kid.
Do you have a favourite Disney Princess or superhero?
My favourite Disney Princess is Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. Tiana takes control of her destiny and through hard work she is able to achieve her dreams no matter what anyone says.
Thanks to your support, Child Life specialists like Stephanie are a making a life-changing difference for the kids and families who rely on the Stollery’s world-class care. You can continue to support patient and family-centred programs like Child Life by donating today.Donate now