Child Life Practicum

The Child Life Practicum Program at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital is designed to introduce potential Child Life practitioners to the hospital environment and to introduce them to the child life profession. Primary responsibilities include providing play opportunities to patients both individually and in small groups and assisting with program support activities. In addition, practicum students will have opportunities to observed Certified Child Life Specialists in their work. The Child Life practicum provides introductory experiences aiding the students' development towards becoming a Certified Child Life Specialist.

  • Each 180-hour practicum experience is structured as 15 hours a week over a 12-week period.
  • Individual student schedules will be considered. Availability is Monday - Saturday 8:00AM to 8:00PM
  • Students are assigned to one primary Certified Child Life Specialist who will serve as their preceptor and mentor.

The practicum program provides hands-on experience, observations and multiple other opportunities for learning.

How to Apply

You must be enrolled in a college/university. The following must be completed and submitted to begin the application process:

  • Completed application (Updated 1/2015)
  • Resume
  • Transcript (unofficial accepted)
  • Two completed recommendation forms (from professors or someone who has observed your work with children)
    School guidelines/ requirements for student practicum experience
  • Verification of enrollment in University during practicum.
Practicum Session Application Deadline
Fall May 5
Winter / Spring September 5
Summer January 5

Mail these documents to the following address:

Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital
Child Life Department 7390
Practicum Program
501 6th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL  33701

After receiving your completed application and all requested attachments you will be contacted for an interview.

Once accepted into the practicum program, students are required to provide a current immunization record, proof of health insurance, liability insurance, and CPR certification.

If you have further questions, please contact Dara Jackson, Practicum Student Coordinator at [email protected]  

Goals and Objectives

  • The practicum is your introduction to the hospital environment as well as first-hand observations of our Child Life program at work.
  • Develop a personal comfort level and confidence to function in the hospital environment.
  • Take the initiative to seek out and interact with patients in the playroom and on the patient units.
  • 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.
  • Introduce yourself to patients and families and offer services.
  • Interact with the child by getting on their level (physically, developmentally, emotionally).
  • Use appropriate active listening skills.
  • Respect the confidentiality of patients and families.
  • Conduct self in a professional manner (appearance, punctuality, flexibility, staff interaction).
  • Ensure a safe environment by being aware of all children in the room and their medical needs.
  • Set behavioral limits and redirect negative behavior when necessary.
  • Assist in playroom set-up, maintenance and clean up.

Practicum Student Requirements

  • Read the Policy & Practice Guideline Manuals
  • Read the Safety & Disaster Manual and be familiar with emergency procedures
  • Write a weekly journal
  • Prepare six case studies
  • Schedule three shadowings with other Certified Child Life Specialists in the department
  • Complete "What is Child Life?" worksheet
  • Observe medical play, procedural support and preparations
  • Complete assigned readings
  • Complete three book reviews
  • Self Evaluation
  • Complete evaluation of practicum program