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Resource Revisit: Burnout in the Child Life Profession

ACLP Publications:
One Cannot Pour From an Empty Cup: Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, Compassion Satisfaction, and Coping Among Child Life Specialists from The Journal of Child Life

"Child life specialists are at risk of burnout due to factors such as high workload, inadequate compensation, lack of respect and understanding of the child life role by other medical professionals, and difficulty finding work/life balance (Hoelscher & Ravert, 2021). The current study examined the experiences of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout among child life specialists and whether coping strategies or specific aspects of the work environment contributed to child life specialists’ reported professional quality of life.

Lisa Lagos, MS, Amy M. Claridge, PhD, LMFT, Katy Tenhulzen, MS, CCLS

W is for Work: From Burnout to Balance from  ACLP Bulletin Fall 2020

"As a child life specialist and health care provider, it is common for us to hear the buzz words ‘burnout’ and ‘self-care.’ As I sat down to write this article and reflected on my experience with burnout, I realized that I was not able to fully process this experience until several years later. Now that I am five years out of that situation, I am hopeful that sharing my experience with burnout and the lessons I learned will help others within our field."

Magellan Taylor-Brickey, MA, CCLS, GCCA-C, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX

Workplace Relationships and Professional Burnout Among Certified Child Life Specialists from The Journal of Child Life
Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) work within a complex medical system, comprised of multiple interpersonal relationships including those with their immediate supervisors, peers, and non-child life medical staff. The job demands of a CCLS often place them in situations that involve high levels of stress and anxiety, placing them at risk for burnout and job turnover. This study examined which types of work relationships are associated with levels of burnout.

Free PDUs for members:

Earn 1 PDU by reading and completing a quiz on One Cannot Pour From an Empty Cup: Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, Compassion Satisfaction, and Coping Among Child Life Specialists from The Journal of Child Life

Earn 1 PDU by reading and completing a quiz on Workplace Relationships and Professional Burnout Among Certified Child Life Specialists from The Journal of Child Life

ACLP Webinars:

Beyond Burned Out: Resilience Strategies for Child Life Professionals

This webinar will explore when some of our professional experiences take us beyond burnout into traumatization and moral injury, and how to identify and respond with our own emotional safety in mind. Exploring techniques such as mindfulness, connection, diffusion, expansion, and choice point. Participants can utilize these strategies to promote resilience and coping as individuals and in group settings.

Suggested Domain: Professional Responsibility; 1.5 PDUs

Viral Fatigue: How to Survive Burnout and Thrive in a Toxic World

This webinar provides a framework for re-examining the so called ‘negative’ emotions of the profession; avoiding the pitfalls of toxic positivity; and embracing emotional agility as an agent for adaptive coping.

Suggested Domain: Professional Responsibility; 1.0 PDU

You Can't Pour from an Empty Bucket: Stress & Self-Care in the Child Life Profession
This webinar will explore the stressors and personal risks inherent in the child life profession and other caring professions, will discuss the research & current theory and practice surrounding compassion fatigue, burnout, & stress, and will discuss research and best practices for self-care in the child life profession.

Suggested Domain: Professional Responsibility; 1.0 PDU

Selfcare as Stewardship: sustaining wellness through challenge, uncertainty and change

This webinar addresses the needs of established professionals in relation to the development of self and self-care practices. Excellent self-care needs to be integrated into our lives to be able to sustain a quality of professional functioning over time. Experienced child life specialists are often in a position of mentorship or leadership to others and have a responsibility to model balance and meaningful wellness promoting practices. We will explore self-care solidarity and how to integrate wellness practices and increase equanimity personally and professionally.

Suggested Domain: Professional Responsibility, 1.5 PDUs

2020 Self-Care Package
This four webinar (6 PDUs) package offers members the opportunity to spend time reflecting inward to care for their mental, emotional, and physical health. The package consists of three on-demand webinars and one live webinar in September.

Sustainable Self-Care for Clinicians: Utilizing Wellness Champions to Promote Holistic Wellbeing

This webinar will review the signs of trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout; describe ways that self-care rituals can increase resiliency and discuss concrete practices that can be incorporated into departmental policies and routines. In this webinar, we will discuss how the implementation of Wellness Champions in the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department can promote holistic wellbeing among clinicians in practical and sustainable ways

Suggested Domain: Professional Responsibility; 1.0 PDU

More Than Just A Bad Day: How Child Life Specialists Can Maintain Professional Wellbeing And Create A Coping Plan For Burnout
In general, working in healthcare comes with risk for burnout. Child life specialists are exposed daily to high stress and emotional encounters. It’s no surprise that compassion fatigue, a symptom of burnout, is common in a career centered around having compassion. As experts in coping and emotional safety, how can we learn to utilize the skills we teach? This webinar discusses strategies for building resiliency in an emotionally demanding field.

Suggested Domain: Professional Responsibility; 1.0 PDU

As a helping profession, individuals learning and working in child life are susceptible to compassion fatigue, burnout, and difficulty achieving work-life balance (Meadors et al., 2010). This makes the implementation of regular self-care practices essential. Mindfulness is one of many ways to show compassion to yourself. Whether you’re a student or seasoned professional, there are evidenced-based reasons to develop a mindful routine. We hope to welcome, illuminate, and highlight all concepts of mindfulness to really capture the breadth of mindfulness practice and share many of the positive impacts it has on a variety of users.

Child Life Profession