Oregon Health & Science University

Child Life Specialist

Job Locations US-OR-Portland
Requisition ID
Position Category
Allied Health
Position Type
Regular Full-Time
Job Type
AFSCME union represented
Child Life
Salary Range
$31.17 - $42.16 per hour, Commensurate with experience, qualifications and internal equity.
Monday - Friday
9 AM - 5 PM
HR Mission
Drug Testable

Department Overview

Ranked the No. 1 Hospital in Oregon by the U.S. News & World Report, we pride ourselves in not only serving our community with the highest of accolades, but pushing a multifaceted mission that strives of excellence within the OHSU Culture. Find out more here: https://www.ohsu.edu/about/ohsu-vision-mission-and-values and https://youtu.be/6C-lws1q5cY


OHSU is hiring! We offer a variety of benefits on top of joining a thriving organization:

  • Hiring bonus available upon signing
  • Medical, dental and vision coverage at low or no cost to employees
    • Covered 100% for full-time employees and 88% for dependents
  • Several retirement plans to choose from! – Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan and University Pension Plan, voluntary savings plans (403b and 457b)
  • Up to 200 hours (equal to 25 full days) a year of paid time off 
  • 96 hours of sick leave a year (prorated for part-time employees) 
  • Commuter subsidies
  • Tuition reimbursement 
  • Access to group life insurance, disability insurance and other supplemental benefits
  • Annual Raises
  • Employee discounts to local and major businesses
  • Growth/Development Opportunities

We want you, apply and work with us today! https://www.ohsu.edu/


The Child Life Specialist will support hospitalized pediatric patients on our Pediatric Acute Care Medical unit (9N). 9N Pediatric Acute Care Medical (PACM) provides Acute Care level care for patients 0-18 years of age, across a large spectrum of services to include; medicine, pulmonology, gastroenterology, endocrine, family medicine, neurology and more. Our team approach is family centered and includes daily multidisciplinary rounding, as well as, physician team rounds at the bedside with the family and the nurse. Multidisciplinary collaboration with child life, respiratory therapy, social work, school teachers, pharmacists, and therapy services. Our facility provides private rooms for patients/families, playrooms, family lounge, classroom and an outside courtyard. This CLS will promote healthy growth and development, reduce anxiety of hospitalization, increase coping and emotional adjustment to medical setting. 


Function/Duties of Position

Clinical Responsibilities

  • Maintains and supports the philosophy of family centered care by helping the patients and families cope with the hospital experience.
  • Assesses and documents the emotional and psychosocial developmental needs, action and follow-up plan written in the patient’s record
  • Promotes coping with the hospital experience through expression of feelings in developmentally age appropriate, therapeutic activities.
  • Provides preoperative teaching, post op support and pre-op tours.
  • Provides emotional support to patient and family during medical/nursing procedures.
  • Provides child development expertise in the development of educational material for patients and families.
  • Participates in care conferences held to assess patient needs and receives suggestions for intervention from other care conference members.
  • Identifies needs of all children incorporating developmental level, mobility, chronicity of illness and psychosocial factors to facilitate activities fostering mastery of healthcare experiences.
  • Adapts play materials to meet individual needs.
  • Explains at the child’s level of understanding, the sequence, nature, and reason for medical procedures and routines; serves as a supportive non-medical person during medical procedures.
  • Promotes positive guest relations with the staff, patients, volunteers and visitors
  • Assists in training and supervision of volunteers to promote positive interactions for patients and families with volunteers.
  • Provides emotional, intellectual and social support for siblings of patient.
  • Provides grief support for families

Promotes the Child Life professional and program through education and role modeling.

  • Participates in associations related to Child Life and maintains knowledge on current trends in Child Life.
  • Shares child development knowledge and communication skills with staff and providers as opportunities arise.
  • Orients patient care staff, volunteers and students to the needs of hospitalized children and adolescents.
  • Acts as a resource person for staff in identifying patient and family needs under stress and crisis.
  • Participates as a member on an organizational, multidisciplinary committee as possible
  • Role models professional competence and respectful communications.
  • Commits to teamwork in the Child Life Program through positive communication and collaboration.
  • Assists in preparation and dissemination of information representing the hospital and Child Life Program to community groups, organizations and the news media.

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Maintains necessary medical play supplies and playrooms in good working order.
  • Accepts donations brought to DCH.
  • Maintains a supply of books/pamphlets for grief support, general information regarding hospitalization of children and other materials as patient needs dictate.
  • Processes donations including donor relations, organization, storage and/or distribution of donations.
  • Uses fiscal stewardship in requesting and ordering program materials.
  • Maintains accurate pager status, answers calls and emails promptly.
  • Supports DCH Foundation special events and requests as requested.
  • Coordinates and attends Child Life Program special events and/or entertainment activities for patients and families. 

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in a Child Development, Early Childhood Education, Recreational Therapy, Special Education, or a closely related field and completion of a minimum of 480 hours in a Child Life internship.
    • Child Life Certification within one year of hire date.
  • Preference will be given to applicants with hospital experience or training, Child Life Specialist certification, and proficiency in Spanish.
  • Expertise in child Life skills and practices. 
  • Competent in computer functions, such as e-charting
  • Must be able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without accommodation.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in related field
  • 2 years’ experience as a Child Life Specialist in a pediatric acute hospital
  • Successful OHSU Language Service Competency exam: Spanish Language

Additional Details

Environment, Physical Demands & Equipment Usage

  • Standing, sitting for up to 2 hours or more, bending, reaching overhead, stooping, climbing stairs, on hands and knees at times working with ped patients.   
  • Able to use a keyboard for an extended amount of time as well.
  • Able to lift 20 lbs as well as patient lifting up to 20 lbs, lifting, pushing overhead, moving carts and carrying items that weigh 20 lbs.
  • Able to stand in place for 2 hours; able to be on feet active for up to 4 hours consecutively.

All are welcome

Oregon Health & Science University values a diverse and culturally competent workforce. We are proud of our commitment to being an equal opportunity, affirmative action organization that does not discriminate against applicants on the basis of any protected class status, including disability status and protected veteran status. Individuals with diverse backgrounds and those who promote diversity and a culture of inclusion are encouraged to apply. To request reasonable accommodation contact the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Department at 503-494-5148 or aaeo@ohsu.edu.


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