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

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Blank Children's Hospital

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. 

The Child Life Internship Program at Blank Children's Hospital is offered in the Spring and Fall to students in various curriculums. 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 Child Life specialist will act as site supervisor. It is the responsibility of the Child Life specialist to:

  1. Orient the student to the hospital including policies, programs, departments and procedures.
  2. Share knowledge and experiences with the student which will help him/her grow professionally.
  3. Assign responsibilities to the student that are consistent with the Child Life Department.
  4. Provide opportunities to attend seminars, workshops, etc., pertinent to hospitalized children offered during internship.
  5. Complete any or all university evaluations or letters of recommendation for the student file.
  6. Meet weekly with intern coordinators for feedback and evaluations.

Objectives

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.