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Course Description

This course surveys the inclusive, multidisciplinary field of child life and examines the psychosocial needs of children and their families coping with illness and hospitalization. A series of special topics designed to promote critical thinking about theoretical, methodological, evidence-based, and developmental clinical issues are presented in this course. Topics include, but are not limited to: preparing children for surgical and medical procedures, the emergency room experience, assessment, play techniques and self-expression activities in health care settings, children’s cognitive understanding of illness, professional development, medical ethics, children’s understanding of death/grief, and the utilization of the arts as tools in meeting the psychosocial needs of children and their families across the health-care continuum. Important hallmarks of this course include the use of child-directed language, cultural sensitivity in research and practice, awareness of the strengths of children with special health care needs, putting theory into practice, and the integration of developmental biopsychosociocultural and family-centered care philosophical and theoretical orientations.

This is an online/virtual asynchronous course that has no fixed meeting pattern and gives students the flexibility to interact with course content on their own schedule; please note: some asynchronous courses may include required sessions and/or proctored exams at specific times. Tufts virtual courses are designed to provide high-quality, flexible, and interactive courses to Tufts and visiting students. For more information about virtual course policies and expectations, please visit

Basic Enrollment Requirements: None.

Refund Policy: The refund policy for Courses at Tufts offerings is dependent on the offering type: whether the offering is a course, workshop or short course, or in-demand offering. Please refer to the section details to confirm the type of offering as well as any exceptions to the standard refund policy. The refund policies for each offering type are viewable here:

Remission Eligible: Yes; first day of term; all university policies apply.

Affiliated With:

School of Arts and Sciences