Child Life Specialist Internships

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Child Life Specialists

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Swedish offers a 15-week summer internship for students or individuals pursuing a Child Life Specialist career. The internship is for students seeking professional certification through the National Child Life Council ONLY and includes 500 hours of clinical experience under a qualified supervisor.

Download the Internship Application (PDF)

Internship job description and goals


The purpose of the Child Life Internship is to provide an opportunity to seek, identify and/or further develop an appropriate level of professionalism while learning to help children and families cope with acute and chronic illness. Interns are members of the professional staff and healthcare team. During the internship, interns strive to develop self-awareness, sensitivity, creative self-expression, and the ability to listen and work closely with others.

Intern job summary

This is a non-paid internship under the supervision of a qualified Child Life Supervisor according to the National Child Life Council standards.

Goals and objectives

The student internship experience will involve training and education in a manner that supports student competence in the following areas according the Child Life Council's standards (2001):

  • Developmentally supportive play and social interactions with infants, children, youth and families, in individual and group settings

  • Set long and short-term goals based upon assessment of infant, child, youth and family stress potential

  • Individual, therapeutically-oriented interactions, including:

                     1. Psychological preparation, assessments, and development of associated coping processes

                     2. Stress reduction techniques

                     3. Health care education

                     4. Health care play

                     5. Expressive interventions

                     6. Non-pharmacological pain management techniques and procedural support

  • Collaboration with families regarding developmental issues and impact of stressful events

  • Consideration of diversity and socioeconomic issues

  • Interaction and coordination with interdisciplinary team members, including participation in team meetings

  • Instruction and practice of documentation in institutional records

  • Materials management

  • Supervision and coordination of volunteers and special events

  • Prioritization of daily workload in relation to patient and administrative responsibilities

  • Evaluating self (e.g. skill level, professionalism, personal coping styles, professional boundaries) and overall programming, implementing appropriate changes when needed

  • Developing knowledge regarding medical terminology, etiology, disease process, and medical procedures

  • Maintaining a therapeutic relationship with infants, children, youth, and families

  • Incorporating family centered care practices

  • Exhibiting understanding of and adhering to departmental and organizational policies and procedures

  • Administrative planning and implementation when appropriate

Contact the Intern Supervisor at 206-386-2750 if you have any inquiries regarding the internship program.