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child life specialist assists child patient

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Child Life Specialists provide emotional support before, during and after treatment through play and psychological preparation for medical procedures. Apply to our internship to help create positive hospital experiences for our patients.

child life specialist assists child patient

Our internship is an intensive, clinically based program which meets the child life certification requirements regarding clinical experience. Our full-time program is designed for senior and graduate level students from the fields of child life, child development, early childhood education or other related fields of study which include a strong child development emphasis. Individuals must be affiliated with a college or university in order to apply for our internship. Prior to the start date, an affiliation agreement must be established and signed by both Children's National Hospital and your university/institution. Selection of interns is based on previous experience working with children, completion and recommendation from a child life practicum program, successful completion of all child life coursework, interview and references.

Our internship program will only accept students who have completed 100 hours of experience with well infants, children, youth and/or families. A child life practicum with a minimum of 100 hours must also be completed by the time of the application deadline is required in order to be applicable for this internship.

Internships are offered twice a year (spring/fall) with one intern participating in each session. Please visit the ACLP website for more information about application deadlines and offer dates.

Upon being accepted to the program, all students must be cleared through a background investigation which is arranged and paid for by the hospital. Students must meet our Occupational Health requirements which includes the completion of our medical form by your private physician and up-to-date immunizations.

Each intern is assigned to a certified child life specialist who will provide ongoing clinical supervision. Internship experiences include:

  • Two clinical rotations
  • Seminars on topics related to child life practice
  • Charting and documentation
  • Visits to local child life programs
  • Weekly written assignments 
  • Two case study presentations
  • Quality improvement project
  • Weekly supervision sessions

After applications are reviewed and interviews are conducted, selections are made by the internship coordinators and education committee. Acceptance into the program is based on capacity and the qualifications of applicants.

Housing, meals, transportation, parking and additional expenses to support the learning process are the responsibility of the intern.

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