Child Life Spec - Dog Handler


Position Details

Department: PCH-MAIN | Child Life Program
Category: Child Life/Teachers
Location: Phoenix
Employee Type: Regular
Posting #: 810097
Posted On: 1/17/2024

Position Summary

This position plans and provides therapeutic intervention and appropriate psychosocial developmental care utilizing a hospital facility dog with pediatric patients and their families, assisting them in coping with the stress and anxiety of healthcare experiences, and maximizing the growth and development of infants, children and adolescent patients. Serves as the primary handler of a facility dog in every day work.

Position Duties

  1. Primary handler of a Child Life facility dog.
    • Utilizes the facility dog to enhance clinical practice and meet patient goals within the child life specialist professional scope of practice. Assesses the development of patient and other situational factors in order to individualize facility dog interventions to meet patient goals.
    • Actively participants in interdisciplinary rounds and evaluations as a member of the treatment team. Collaborates and co-treats with interdisciplinary staff to provide therapeutic animal-assisted interactions that will assist the patient and family with coping related to hospitalization and/or illness. Provides teaching and psychological preparation for potentially stressful experiences with infants, children, adolescents, and families.
    • Collaborates with staff and volunteers in the Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) program, accepting/coordinating referrals from the AAT Coordinator and referring requests to the AAT program.
    • Assesses both the animal and patient for stress signals and any discomfort during facility dog interventions. Maintains safety of the facility dog and others at all times in challenging and stimulating environments.
    • Prioritizes high workload effectively and adapts to frequently changing priorities. Engages in marketing and media activities for the AAT program while adhering to all hospital policies.
    • Takes possession of the facility dog under the supervision of the service dog organization field trainer. Maintains the safety, health, grooming, and behavior of the facility dog according to hospital policy and guidelines.
  2. Documents patient assessments, interventions, and outcomes in the medical record.
  3. Provides a safe, therapeutic, and healing environment for infants, children, adolescents, and families.
    • Participates in the training, supervision, and evaluation of Child Life Assistants, Child Life student interns, and volunteers.
    • Escorts and facilitates social/ positive interactions between patients and special visitors, guests, or entertainers.
  4. Represents and communicates family centered philosophy on departmental and hospital-wide committees.
  5. Participates in continuing education programs and remains abreast of advances in Child Life and programs for hospitalized children. Provides interdisciplinary in-service education on growth and development, child life, animal-assisted interventions, and the impact of illness, injury, and healthcare on patients and their families.
  6. Performs miscellaneous job related duties as requested.

Phoenix Children's Mission, Vision, & Values


To advance hope, healing and the best healthcare for children and their families


Phoenix Children's will be the leading pediatric health system in the Southwest, nationally recognized for exceptional care, innovative research and advanced medical education.

We realize this vision by:

  • Offering the most comprehensive care across ages, communities and specialties
  • Investing in innovative research, including emerging treatments, tools and technologies
  • Advancing education and training to shape the next generation of clinical leaders
  • Advocating for the health and well-being of children and families
  • We place children and families at the center of all we do
  • We deliver exceptional care, every day and in every way
  • We collaborate with colleagues, partners and communities to amplify our impact
  • We set the standards of pediatric healthcare today, and innovate for the future
  • We are accountable for making the highest quality care accessible and affordable

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Position Qualifications

Please review the following qualifications and specify whether you meet each of the requirements listed.
Do you meet this requirement?
1. Bachelor`s degree in Child Life, Therapeutic Recreation or related field.
2. Master`s degree in Child Life, Therapeutic Recreation or related field.
Do you meet this requirement?
1. Completion of a minimum 480 hour professional Child Life Internship, under the direction of a Certified Child Life Specialist.
2. Experience working with children in a child care capacity, to include private employment, or in volunteer roles as determined by the hiring manager.
3. Experience with animals in a therapeutic setting.
4. Professional Child Life experience in a hospital environment.
Certifications / Licenses / Registries
Do you meet this requirement?
1. Current BLS certification for Healthcare Provider from the American Heart Association.
2. Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) credential from the Child Life Certifying Commission (CLCC). ***Must be obtained within 12 months of hire and maintained thereafter***
3. Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) credential, from the National Council Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).
4. Completed training/certification related to handling of service and/or therapeutic animal
Special Skills
Do you meet this requirement?
1. Bilingual English-Spanish skills.
Physical Requirements & Occupational Exposure/Risk Potential
1. Physical Requirement - Climbing - Frequently
2. Physical Requirement - Feeling (sensing textures and temperatures) - Frequently
3. Physical Requirement - Fine Motor Skills (pinching, gripping, etc) - Constantly
4. Physical Requirement - Hearing - Constantly
5. Physical Requirement - Pushing/pulling - Frequently
6. Physical Requirement - Reaching - Constantly
7. Physical Requirement - Sitting - Frequently
8. Physical Requirement - Standing - Frequently
9. Physical Requirement - Stooping/crouching/kneeling/crawling - Constantly
10. Physical Requirement - Talking - Constantly
11. Physical Requirement - Tasting/smelling - Occasionally
12. Physical Requirement - Walking - Constantly
13. Physical Requirement - Near Vision - Constantly
14. Physical Requirement - Far Vision - Constantly
15. Physical Requirement - Color Discrimination - Occasionally
16. Physical Requirement - Use of keyboard, mouse and/or computer equipment - Constantly
17. Physical Requirement - Lift up to 35 pounds without assistance - Frequently
18. Physical Requirement - Lift more than 35 pounds without assistance - Occasionally
19. Occupational Exposure/Risk Potential - Airborne communicable diseases - Applicable
20. Occupational Exposure/Risk Potential - Bloodborne pathogens or bodily fluid - Applicable
21. Occupational Exposure/Risk Potential - Hazardous materials exposure - Applicable
22. Occupational Exposure/Risk Potential - Radiation exposure - Applicable
23. Occupational Exposure/Risk Potential - Toxic or caustic chemicals - Applicable
I have reviewed the qualifications, physical requirements and occupational exposure/risk potential for this position and wish to apply