Child Life Internship - Blank Childrens Hospital

Program Overview

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 on requirements from the Child Life Council. Internships are offered twice a year, in the Spring and Fall.

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.

Program Information and Requirements

The Child Life internship at Blank Children's hospital is 600 hours over 15 weeks. Students interested in the internship program should follow the time schedule below for the application procedure.

Internship Session Application Deadline Initial Offer Date  Acceptance Date
January - May September 5 Second Tuesday of October  Following Wednesday
September - December March 15 First Tuesday of May  Following Wednesday

To qualify for the internship program, students must have:

  • 100 hours of experience with well infants, children, youth and/or families.
  • 100 hours of experience with infants, children, youth and/or families in stressful situations, health care settings and/or programs designed for children with special needs.
  • Successfully completed Child Life coursework inclusive of the 6 applied areas of study, as required by the ACLP.
  • Completed the academic course work portion of the ACLP eligibility assessment or are actively enrolled in an ACLP endorsed academic program.

If accepted into the internship program, 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.

Requirements of the Internship
  • All interns must be affiliated with a university during their internship.
  • Complete orientation that includes essential teaching modules as well as observation in all clinical areas. We follow the Child Life Council's module recommendations.
  • Complete assignments from teaching modules associated with Growth and Development, Medical Play, Charting, Preparation, Grief and Bereavement, Professionalism, Volunteer Program as well as Coping and Distraction.
    • Supplemental reading associated with modules (interns are responsible for obtaining the following books prior to start date):
      •  "Child Life in Hospitals", R.H. Thompson & G. Stanford
      •  "Psychosocial Care of Children in Hospitals", ACCH
  • Daily journals of hospital experiences to be turned in weekly.
  • Prepare and present a case study on a patient following guidelines.
  • Child Life Project: Create and plan a project specific to Child Life Therapy and present to staff.
  • Medical play, preparation, play, charting, and procedural support under the supervision of a Child Life specialist.
  • Weekly meetings with Child Life specialists to discuss clinical and personal experiences.
  • Interns will be required to complete self evaluations following each rotation.
  • 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.

Application Process

  • Affiliated with a university throughout the internship
  • Download the application and return the completed application along with the following required items:
    • Three recommendations using the ACLP recommendation form
    • Resume
    • College transcript (Official transcript recommended but not required)
    • Child Life Course taught by a CCLS Verification Form (provided by your professor)
  • Please mail all items to:
    Blank Children's Hospital
    Child Life Department
    Attn: Internship Team
    1200 Pleasant Street
    Des Moines, IA 50309