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Student Practicum and Internship Programs

3000 New Bern Avenue, 27610 | 919-350-8000 | Map & Directions

Child Life Specialist Practicum and Internship Programs

Please note, we are not accepting applications at this time.  We are also not offering tours of our program, or student shadowing opportunities at this time.  Please check back later for more information, and thank you for your interest in our program.

WakeMed offers Child Life internship and practicum placements three times each year (spring, summer and fall semesters) for individuals interested in a career as a Child Life Specialist.  To apply for a placement, you must be enrolled in a college or university and you must complete the application process. If selected for an interview, an on-site interview is required.

If you are interested in learning more about the child life profession or becoming a child life specialist, the Child Life Council is a great resource. The Child Life Council has a wealth of resources for students and child life specialists, including membership opportunities, webinars, forums and general information.

Child Life Student Workshop
The Child Life Specialists at WakeMed offer a workshop each year for students interested in pursuing a career in child life or a related field. For more information about these workshops, please call 919-350-7166.

Our most recent student workshop was held Saturday, March 1, 2014.

2014 Child Life Student Workshop
Topic: A Collaborative Approach to Care: A Child Life Perspective
Date: Saturday, March 1, 2014
Location: WakeMed Andrews Conference Center, Raleigh, N.C.

Practicum Placement
A practicum placement is designed to introduce the student to the field of child life, as well as a variety of experiences facing children and adolescents in the healthcare setting.  A Certified Child Life Specialist will supervise students while providing and assisting with individual and group interventions with children, adolescents and families.  Practicum students must have completed curriculum in child development and related course work.  Students should have work and/or volunteer experience working with children. The students must also be affiliated with a university/educational institution. 

A practicum placement is highly recommended and often required for those considering a Child Life Specialist career.  Practicum students generally complete eight to ten hours per week for a minimum total of 120 hours.  During the practicum, the student will complete three rotations; and observe interventions that support children, adolescents and their families within the healthcare system.

Practicum students will observe child life assessments, medical play, procedural preparation and coping, playroom programming, and work with volunteers.  Students also develop documentation skills, participate in special events and hospital committees, and may observe trauma and bereavement support. The student will complete an orientation process and participate in ongoing guidance and evaluation by the child life staff and site supervisor.

Eligibility: The Child Life program at WakeMed offers practicum placements for students enrolled in colleges/universities in the state of North Carolina and for students who attend Auburn University in Alabama.  We are unable to offer practicum placements for other out of state applicants or applicants who will not be affiliated with a college/university during their practicum placement.

Selection criteria for practicum placement include:

  • Evaluation of application
  • Interview
  • Relevant coursework that meets the requirements for Child Life Certification (More information is available at www.childlife.org)
  • Grades and GPA in relevant coursework
  • A strong background of previous experience working with children and families
  • Affiliation with an educational institution

Practicum Job Description  

Internship Placement
The internship placement is for fifteen weeks (40 hours per week) for a minimum of 600 hours.  It is a full-time training program designed for graduate and senior undergraduate students with majors in Child Life or a closely related degree program that are pursuing a career as a Certified Child Life Specialist.  A Certified Child Life Specialist will supervise interns while providing and assisting with individual and group interventions with children, adolescents and families.  Interns must have completed curriculum in child development and related course work.  The student should have work and/or volunteer experience working with children.  All students must be affiliated with a university/educational institution, this includes any postgraduate students.

During the internship, interns will complete three rotations; and provide supervised interventions that support children, adolescents and their families within the healthcare system.  Interns will participate in and facilitate child life assessments, medical play, procedural preparation and coping, provide playroom programming, and learn to supervise volunteers.  Interns also develop documentation skills, participate in special events and hospital committees, and will participate in trauma and bereavement support.  The intern will complete an orientation process and participate in ongoing guidance and evaluation by the child life staff and site supervisor.

Eligibility: The Child Life program at WakeMed offers intership placements for students enrolled in colleges/universities in the state of North Carolina and for students who attend Auburn University in Alabama.  We are unable to offer internship placements for other out of state applicants or applicants who will not be affiliated with a college/university during their internship placement.

Selection criteria for an internship placement include:

  • Evaluation of application
  • Interview
  • Relevant coursework that meets the requirements for Child Life Certification (More information is available at www.childlife.org)
  • Successful completion of a course taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist prior to start date of placement.  This course is not required to be completed in order to submit your application, but must be able to be completed prior to the placement start date.
  • Grades and GPA in relevant coursework
  • A strong background of previous experience working with children and families
  • Affiliation with an educational institution

Internship Job Description    

*Please note:  Both the Common Child Life Internship Application and the WakeMed Additional Application Requirements Form must be completed in order for the application to be considered complete and eligible for consideration.

The Child Life program at WakeMed loosely follows the Internship Offer and Acceptance Guidelines created by the Child Life Council.  We follow the schedule as closely as we can while considering our schedule, as well as unit and program needs during that time frame.  The Student Coordinator will outline when to expect placement offers and when acceptance notification is required directly with candidates interviewing for a placement.

Child Life Resources

  • Child Life Council - www.childlife.org
  • Thompson, R. and Stanford, G. Child Life in Hospitals: Theory and Practice. Charles C. Thomas Publishers, 1981.
  • Official Documents of the Child Life Council. Bethesda, MD: CLC, 1990.
  • Gaynard, L. et., Psychosocial Care of Children in Hospitals: A Clinical Practice Manual From the ACCH Child Life Research Project. Bethesda, MD: ACCH, 1990.

 

 

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