Orange Regional appoints child life specialist

Hospital enhances pediatric patient experience

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Photos



  • The Children's Emergency Department is uniquely painted for its patients.




  • Michelle Ferguson has joined Orange Regional as its child life specialist.




  • Each treatment room has a flat-screen television.



— Orange Regional Medical Center has appointed Michelle Ferguson, child life specialist, to its pediatric healthcare team.

Ferguson will work closely with pediatric patients and their families to help them effectively cope with their hospital visit or illness through play, preparation, education, distraction and self-expression activities. She will provide emotional support and encouragement throughout a child’s hospitalization while providing information, guidance and education about upcoming tests, surgeries or other procedures to all family members. Working with an interdisciplinary team that may include physicians, nurses and social workers, Ferguson aims to reduce children’s fears and anxieties while working with an interdisciplinary team that may include physicians, nurses and social workers.

“Children may have certain worries about being hospitalized for any reason,” says Orange Regional’s Nursing Service Administrator for Women and Children, Theresa Fay Conte. “Ms. Ferguson will help in reducing those fears and assist the children and their families overcome the stress and anxiety associated with being in the hospital. The goal is to make it a more positive experience.”

Ferguson has extensive experience in the Applied Behavior field, specifically in analyzing and assessing children’s behavioral needs, implementing programs and behavior intervention plans. Most recently, she was as a child life specialist at North Shore University Hospital where she worked with children and families in the Pediatric unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Ferguson earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Long Island University and a master’s degree as a child life specialist from Bank St. College in Manhattan.

Orange Regional's Children's Emergency Department

The Children’s Emergency Department at Orange Regional Medical Center provides emergency care to ill and injured children (up to the age of 18), 24 hours a day. Separate from Orange Regional’s adult treatment area, the Children’s Emergency Department allows younger patients to be cared for by physicians and staff experienced in caring for pediatric patients in a safe, secure and comfortable environment. It offers private treatment rooms, a triage area and a dedicated nurse’s station. Each room has hand-painted murals and custom artwork by local artists that support a healing environment to help ease fear and anxiety. Treatment rooms also have flat-screen televisions to help distract children from their illness or injury.

The new Children’s Emergency Department features:

Board-certified Emergency Medicine physicians

Specially trained nurses, experienced in pediatric care

Child Life Specialist
Access to pediatric specialists

A secure unit separate from the adult Emergency Department

Private treatment rooms
Appropriately sized medical equipment

Flat-screen TVs in each room
To learn more about Orange Regional’s pediatric services, visit www.ormc.org/Pediatrics.

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