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Child Health Care. 1992 Winter;21(1):4-13.

What's in a name? Child life and the play lady legacy.

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Wheelock College, Boston, MA 02215.


Child life specialists can now earn a nationally recognized credential as a "Certified Child Life Specialist" from the Child Life Certifying Commission. Yet, uncertainties linger about the nature of the child life specialist's identity, roles, and status among health care professionals. This article highlights the historical contexts within which a series of significant changes occurred in the profession's name. How Emma Plank and Thesi Bergmann, two pioneering authors in the field, influenced and were influenced by the play lady legacy is shown, and recommendations are made to find ways to honor the profession's past, while addressing the challenges of the 1990s.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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