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Child & Adolescent Life Specialist - Adult Oncology - Duke Cancer Center Southpoint - Part-time

DUKE HOSPITAL Part Time Durham, North Carolina
Requisition Number: 244428

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About Duke University Hospital

Pursue your passion for caring with Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, which is consistently ranked among the best in the United States and is the number one hospital in North Carolina, according to U.S. News and World Report for 2023-2024. Duke University Hospital is the largest of Duke Health's three hospitals and features 1048 patient beds, 65 operating rooms, as well as comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic facilities, including a regional emergency/trauma center, an endo-surgery center, and more.

Part-time 3 days/week onsite and 2 days/week offsite 

This unique Child and Adolescent Life Position will focus on the emotional and developmental needs of children and teens in families when a parent is facing cancer.  The Specialist holds education sessions with families to support parents in taking the lead in helping their children understand and talk about the cancer diagnosis, treatments, side effects and changes in their family life.  In addition, the Specialist leads a monthly support program called KidsCan! that allows children and teens to talk about their experiences coping with a parent’s cancer. These programs are held virtually and in-person, with different themes and age-appropriate activities each month to foster relationships and learning among families. 

This half-time position will be based at our Duke Cancer Center Southpoint Clinic location. It is a hybrid role - approximately 3 days/week onsite meeting and educating families, interacting with staff for referral needs, and planning and leading KidsCan! sessions and then ~2 days/week remote meetings with families via video conference.

General Description of the Job Class

Provide a variety of interventions for pediatric patients and families to promote coping skills, emotional health, and optimal development in the hospital setting.

Duties and Responsibilities of this Level

  • Assess the emotional and medical needs of assigned patient and families to determine the support needed during the medical experience. Formulate a plan of interaction based on assessment of patient and family and present plan to team members at psychosocial rounds and team meetings. Document all interactions in medical record charts. Provide play/recreational activities for assigned patients consistent with developmental needs in order to normalize the environment and facilitate assessments.
  • Utilize developmentally-appropriate methods for preparing children and families for diagnostic, treatment, and surgical procedures to optimize patients' understanding of their experience as well as their coping.
  • Participate in activities to support family-centered and comprehensive care. Maintain on-going communication with physicians, nurses, unit and clinical staff in order to ensure a coordinated approach to patient care. Address and attempt to limit the disruptive effects of illness, clinic visits, and hospitalization.
  • Provide in-service training to students, other staff, and professional groups in order to improve the practice of family-centered, developmentally-appropriate, and psychosocially-sound health care.
  • Participate in programs for professional training and development; in order to enhance job performance. Perform other administrative and related duties incidental to the work described herein.

Minimum Qualifications


Bachelor's Degree in Child Life, Counseling, Special Education, Recreation Therapy or directly related field. Due to professional exemption, equivalent experience cannot be substituted for bachelor's degree.


One year of experience working with hospitalized children or in an educational training program working with children preferred.

Degrees, Licensures, Certifications

A Certified Child Life Specialist Required (CCLS) is required.

Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.

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