Elaine Skene loves working with kids. It’s something she’s always wanted to do.

As a Child Life Specialist with Mackenzie Health at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, her main objective is to help kids overcome fear.

“When kids are admitted into hospital they’re usually scared and confused,” says Elaine. “My job is to help them become more comfortable with what’s going on, and hopefully make the process more enjoyable.”

You might find her distracting a child who’s getting blood work done, bringing toys and colourful pillowcases to another, or simply showing them how to use the hospital-provided tablets.

Elaine works with children of all ages, from babies to teenagers up to 17 years old.

A big part of her job is working with the Perioperative Program to help kids overcome their fear of surgery.

“What’s important for me is finding out what’s hard for them and help them through that,” says Elaine. “They might still be nervous but they’re a lot less scared and knowing I could help is a great feeling.”