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Child Life Practicum Program

Thank you for your interest in the Child Life Practicum Program at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. This practicum is a 10 week, 10 hours a week program, for students pursuing a career as a Child Life Specialist. The practicum is designed to expose the student to the child life profession through observation and participation in child life services. This exposure is designed to prepare the student for a more in-depth internship experience. During the practicum, students will rotate through approximately 4 to 5 units throughout the children’s hospital.

The practicum is available for credit at both the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as on a non-credit basis for recent graduates in the field. One practicum student is accepted per semester. Download application form. All required documentation should be sent via electronic submission to melissa.leiby@rwjbh.org.

Very truly yours,
Melissa Leiby, CCLS
Intern Advisor, Child Life Program
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
Melissa.Leiby@rwjbh.org

Overview

The Child Life Practicum Program at Robert wood Johnson University Hospital is intended to provide an educational opportunity for individuals who have a desire to pursue a career as a child life specialist. The practicum is designed to expose the student to the child life profession through observation and participation in child life services. This opportunity offers students both hands on experience with patients as well as accompanying academic work. This exposure is designed to prepare the student for a more in-depth internship experience. Students work under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist for 10 weeks, for 10 hours a week, including some evening and weekend days.

Qualifications

  • Applicants must be an undergraduate student, graduate student or recent graduate in Child Life, Child Development or a related concentration. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required.

  • Applicants must have at least 50 hours of hands-on experience working with children from infants through adolescence in a hospital setting.

  • Following application review, students may be selected for an onsite interview. Onsite interviews are required as part of the selection process.

Objectives

Through observation of child life specialists, active participation in child life recreational programming and continuous supervision and feedback from supervisors, the practicum student will:

  1. Become familiar with the child life profession and its philosophies.
  2. Develop an understanding of the principles of growth and development and identify ways to integrate theory into child life practice.
  3. Recognize and gain an understanding of children’s/adolescents reactions to stress, illness and pain.
  4. Develop communication skills with children and families in the health care setting, as well as with other health care professionals.
  5. Understand the importance of establishing and maintaining therapeutic relationships with patients and families.
  6. Recognize the value of play and psychosocially supportive interventions for pediatric and adolescent patients.
  7. Learn how to evaluate ones performance and set goals for learning.
  8. Begin to become familiar with basic medical terminology and procedures as well as the overall dynamics of the hospital environment.

Duties and Responsibilities

**In addition to the overall program components, each rotation begins with an individualized goal/objective list, as well as specific rotation assignments.

  1. Work under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist for a minimum of 10 hours a week for 10 weeks.
  2. Facilitate group and individual recreational and therapeutic play activities with patients.
  3. Observe medical play, psychosocial preparation and procedural support to gain a better understanding of the role of the child life specialist.
  4. Maintain a reflective journal of practicum experiences that incorporates developmental theory into clinical practice.
  5. Complete medical terminology assignments
  6. Complete required readings
  7. Complete a final project
  8. Complete self-evaluations and program evaluations

Interrelationships

Patients, families, medical staff, nursing and hospital personnel

Physical Functions

Frequent pushing, pulling, lifting, walking and standing and reaching. Intact vision, hearing and speech. Manual dexterity. Must be able to function under rapidly changing and stressful conditions.

Environmental Conditions

Exposure to blood, excrement and possible exposure to infectious and communicable diseases.

Evaluations

Practicum students will be evaluated by the supervising Child Life Specialist following each rotation as well as a final evaluation. Students will also be required to complete a self-evaluation during each rotation and an evaluation of the practicum experience.

Practicum Application Deadline, Offer, Acceptance, and 2nd Offer Dates
Updated 2018

Internship Session

Application Deadlines

Initial Offer Dates

Acceptance Dates

2nd Offer Date

Winter/Spring

September 5

2nd Tuesday
of October

Following Wednesday

Following Thursday

Summer

January 5

2nd Tuesday
of February

Following Wednesday

Following Thursday

Fall

March 15

1st Tuesday
of May

Following Wednesday

Following Thursday