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

UnityPoint Clinic - Express

180 Jordan Creek Parkway, Suite 120
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Altoona

2720 8th St. SW
Altoona, Iowa 50009

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ingersoll

2103 Ingersoll Ave., Ste. 2
Des Moines, Iowa 50312

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Urgent Care - Ankeny

3625 N. Ankeny Blvd.
Suite E
Ankeny, Iowa 50023

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Urgent Care - Lakeview

6000 University Avenue
Suite 101
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

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Urgent Care - Merle Hay

4020 Merle Hay Road
Suite 100
Des Moines, Iowa 50310

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Urgent Care - Southglen

6520 SE 14th St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50320

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Urgent Care - Urbandale

2901 86th Street
Urbandale, Iowa 50322

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Blank Children's Hospital

Child Life Internship

Blank Children's Hospital is committed to family-centered healing, caring and teaching. As a teaching hospital, we are committed to advancing the careers of medical professionals - including Child Life specialists. The internship 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.  

Internships are offered fall and spring semesters. See pages at left for more detailed information about the internship program. 

Please Note: due to patient confidentiality, we cannot accept job shadow requests. 

Scope of Services


Child Life will provide psychosocial care for its patients and families that is of the highest quality.


The goal is to minimize the stresses associated with the hospital experience and to make it as positive of an experience as possible.

Knowledge and Skill Levels

  • Bachelor's Degree in Child Life or closely related field.
  • Professional certification through the National Child Life Certifying Committee.
  • Child Life Specialists who are not certified are expected to actively pursue professional certification.

Type and Age of Patients Served

  • Inpatient Care (General Pediatrics, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Adult Inpatient Units)
  • Outpatient Care (Pediatric Emergency Department, Children's Health Center, Outpatient Surgery, Radiology, Adult Outpatient Units)
  • Outpatient Care on Referral (EEG, Endoscopy and any other areas serving children).
  • Ages served are pediatric - birth through 18 years.

Scope and Complexity of Patient Needs

Child Life Specialist provide:

  • Age appropriate play opportunities for patients
  • Preparation for health care experiences and procedures
  • Instruction on coping techniques to promotes pain management
  • Education on Child Development issues for parents and health care staff
  • Orientation and supervision for Child Life volunteers
  • Emotional support for patients and families

Child Life Specialists set individual daily agendas and priorities depending upon units served.

Availability of Staff

Child Life specialists available:

Monday - Friday
6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Saturday - Sunday
7:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Playroom hours are:

Monday - Sunday
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Monday - Sunday
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Monday - Sunday
6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Methods Used to Access and Meet Patient Needs

Individual patient needs are assessed daily to determine provision of appropriate services. Patients assessed to be at highest risk of psychological upset are the highest priority. Goals are reviewed and analyzed annually to assess their accuracy and effectiveness.

Recognized Standards of Practice

The Standards of Practice set by the Child Life Council are used as guidelines to evaluate policies and practices.