Child Life Specialists
Our certified child life specialists are trained professionals who help children and their families understand the hospital environment. Each child life specialist holds a bachelor’s or master’s degree and is skilled at providing developmentally appropriate support, preparation and therapeutic play opportunities to decrease anxieties associated with being in the hospital.
As members of your child's healthcare team, child life specialists partner with families to tailor interventions to best meet that child’s individual needs. They provide:
- Preparation before surgery, exams and other potentially anxiety-provoking experiences by using developmentally appropriate language, books and other teaching materials to reduce stress and increase understanding.
- Medical play by using specially adapted dolls, as well as real and pretend medical equipment, to enhance understanding and clarify misconceptions.
- Help manage pain and encourage relaxation by offering various techniques such as comfort positioning, guided imagery and deep breathing exercises.
- Procedural support by modeling positive coping strategies using developmentally appropriate items such as bubbles, viewmasters and books.
- Developmental play opportunities to promote continued development through age-appropriate activities at the bedside, in play groups and in outpatient waiting areas.
- Sibling support to helping siblings understand what is happening, help them work through their feelings and answer their questions about the hospital experience.
- Bereavement support by providing support and resources for grief and bereavement issues.
Child Life Internships
Child life internship opportunities are available during the academic year and the summer. Our fall internship offering is an eight-month, three-days-a-week internship that begins in September. The summer internship is a 15-week, five-days-a-week internship that begins the end of May/early June.
- Completed Course Work Review Form from Child Life Council.
- Overall G.P.A of 3.0
- Supervised hours working with children:
- Minimum of 100 documented hours working with children in non-hospital setting
- Minimum of 100 documented hours working with children in hospital setting
- **These hours need to be completed and not in progress when application is mailed.**
The Child Life Internship program at Lurie Children’s abides by the deadlines set forth by the Child Life Council. Applications for Fall 2013 need to be postmarked by May 5, 2013. Please refer to the Child Life Council website for the updated offer and acceptance dates.
Before beginning your application, please review our Frequently Asked Questions. In order for your application to be considered, the items listed below must be completed and postmarked by the application deadline. Applications not containing all of the following components will be considered incomplete. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
- Completed and signed CLC Common Application Form.
- Additional written essay (in addition to essay questions in the Common Application)
- What do you consider to be the three most important tasks of a child life specialist and why? (200 word minimum)
- Official/original transcripts (from all universities/colleges attended)
- Copy of Coursework Review from Child Life Council
- Verification of hours working with children in non-hospital and hospital setting
- Current resume
- Three letters of reference from supervisors, employers or advisors who have directly observed and can assess your work with children, parents and professionals. Letters of reference need to be in sealed and signed envelopes
- Non-refundable fee of $20, made payable to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Do not send cash.
**It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to confirm receipt of application.
Sending an application is not a guarantee of acceptance. Due to the expectation that we provide students with quality supervision/education during placement, a limited number of students are accepted each term. If application is accepted, a personal (on-site) interview is required if applicant lives within 100 miles of Chicago; otherwise a Skype/phone interview may be possible.
Download the internship application.
Send completed application and refer any questions to:
Emily Rogers, MS, CCLS
Lead Child Life Specialist – Child Life Internship Coordinator
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
T 312.227.3274 | F 312.227.9613 | firstname.lastname@example.org | luriechildrens.org
225 East Chicago Avenue, Box 31 (Rm. 15-120), Chicago, Illinois 60611-2605