Child Life Practicum

Child Life Practicum

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Department now offers an interactive practicum program for students interested in pursuing Child Life as a career. Through the practicum program, students will become acquainted with the hospital environment and the Child Life Staff. Students will spend time in the playrooms with the Child Life Assistants and will learn why play is an important part of helping children cope throughout hospitalization. Students will also have a chance to shadow Child Life Specialists and learn the importance of preparing children for procedures, effective coping techniques, and therapeutic play. The practicum program is 12 weeks and requires a minimum of 120 hours in the hospital.

Goals of the Child Life Practicum:

  • To gain an introduction to the Child Life profession in general, and to become acquainted with the Child Life Program at Phoenix Children's.
  • Develop a personal comfort level and confidence to function in the hospital environment.
  • Gain knowledge regarding the importance of therapeutic play opportunities for hospitalized children and the creation of a therapeutic environment.
  • Develop the ability to build rapport with a child/teen and engage them in self-satisfying and therapeutic activities.
  • Have the opportunity to observe interactions with patients on a one-to-one basis and in group situations.
  • Experience an accepting, non-threatening environment to promote healthy interactions between child, staff, and family.
  • To gain an initial acquaintance with the needs of hospitalized children and to observe creative and flexible programming in meeting these needs.
  • Observe advocacy for children and families in their interaction with the health care system.
  • To see children prepared for surgery and other medical experiences through the use of audiovisual aids, medical toys, medical equipment and play.

Practicum Requirements

In order to be considered for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Practicum, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Working towards or have a bachelor's degree in Child Life, child development, human development and family studies, psychology, or a closely related field.
  • Completion of or enrollment in a child life class taught by a certified Child Life Specialist
  • Completion of a minimum of 5 classes in child development, psychology, Child Life, or related fields.
  • Minimum grade point average of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Current CPR certification
  • Minimum 50 credit college credit hours

Experience Working with Children

Applicants must have experience working with children:

  • Minimum 50 volunteer hours working with children in a hospital setting
  • Completion of a minimum of 6 months of employment or volunteer work with children

Application Process for the Child Life Practicum

Practicums are offered during the fall and spring semesters only.  There is no summer practicum offered.

Applications for the Spring 2018 semester must be postmarked by September 5, 2017. Please direct all questions to 

Application for Child Life Practicum

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