Internship at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines | Child Life
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Blank Children's Hospital

Child Life Internship

Spring 2021 Internship Program

We will be accepting applications for the Spring 2021 Child Life Internship Program. Please see the Intern Application Process for more information.

As a teaching hospital, Blank Children's Hospital is committed to advancing the careers of medical professionals - including Child Life specialists. The Child Life Internship Program at Blank Children's Hospital fulfills the requirements to become eligible to sit for the national certification exam for Child Life specialists, based requirements from the Child Life Council.  Please Note: due to patient confidentiality, we cannot accept job shadow requests. 

Intern Objectives

The purpose of the student internship is to provide an opportunity to seek, identify and further develop an appropriate level of professionalism while learning to help children and families cope with acute or chronic illness. 

Internships are offered in the Spring and Fall to students in various curriculum's. The program provides students opportunities for the following experiences: planning and implementing recreational, therapeutic and educational activities for patients in the playroom and at bedside; preparing patients for medical procedures, and providing support during procedures; attending patient rounds and supervising volunteers. 

The objectives of the Child Life Internship are as follows:

  1. To understand and implement the theories related to child development.
  2. To become familiar with the Child Life profession.
  3. To display appropriate leadership skills.
  4. To gain a knowledge of growth and development.
  5. To recognize the needs of children in the health care environment.
  6. To gain knowledge of assessment, intervention and documentation as it relates to Child Life.
  7. To gain an understanding of the effects of stress and trauma on children and adolescents' behavior and development.
  8. To become familiar with written literature regarding children and adjustments to the health care setting.
  9. To delegate responsibilities and supervise volunteers.
  10. To gain knowledge of how to assess, plan, organize, coordinate, implement and evaluate Child Life interventions.
  11. To begin transition from student to professional.
  12. To gain knowledge of the administration of the Child Life program.
  13. To gain experience advocating for children and families.
  14. To gain experience in preparing children for health care experiences.
  15. To gain an understanding of the roles of other health care professionals and to educate others on the role of Child Life.
  16. To gain professional attitude, growth, maturity and judgment.
  17. To gain experience working independently and as a team member providing for the psychosocial needs of children and adolescents. 

Additional Information

To be considered for Child Life Internship, Bachelor level students must have a senior level status (at the time of the internship).  Suggested major for internship candidates include: Child Life, Child Development, Family and Human Development or other related fields. 

It is not required for the University Intern Advisor to visit the site during the internship; however, it is recommended.

Interns will complete an in-depth orientation during the first two weeks of the internship.  Interns are also asked to write their goals and objectives for the internship.  

Interns are required to complete reading assignments.  

Child Life Interns will be required to work 40 hours per week including day, evening, and weekend shifts compliant with the area at that time.  Attendance is expected on a daily basis.    

Weekly conferences will be scheduled between the site supervisor and the intern focusing on the student's progress, concerns, current events and scheduling issues.  

Child Life Interns must meet all requirements of the internship. Failure to complete the requirements may cause the student to receive an incomplete or termination of the internship. See requirements.   

Please also see the Association of Child Life Professionals website for recent updates and more information regarding certification eligibility requirements.