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Child Life Clinical Opportunities

Child life specialists are prepared at the bachelors and masters levels in Child Life, Child Development and other related fields. Professional certification is available to qualified candidates through the Child Life Certification Commission. Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) must pass the Child Life Professional Certification Examination. For more information, contact the Association of Child Life Professionals. If you are interested in the opportunities offered at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children, click on the category of interest below.

Pre-Internship Opportunities

The practicum, a pre-internship experience, is offered in the summer, typically spanning the month of June. This experience is an observational role, shadowing Certified Child Life Specialists in multiple areas. The learner follows a full-time work schedule, along with completing assignments equivalent to the workload of one class. Four learners are chosen for this session. This institution follows the pre-internship learning modules recommended by the Association of Child Life Professionals.

Seminar Opportunities

The child life staff offers a learning seminar to interested students and adults wanting to know more about the field. The seminar is composed of two varying sessions:

Child Life Seminar 101

This seminar is open to high school juniors/seniors, college students, and adults interested in learning more about the field of child life. This is an introductory seminar to learn more about the child life profession. Some key topics that will be discussed are the following:
  • What is child life?
  • How do I follow the child life career path to become a child life specialist?
  • What does a typical day look like in this profession?

Child Life Seminar 102

This seminar is open to college students who are actively pursuing a degree of concentration in child life. This is an opportunity for some hands-on learning experience with Certified Child Life Specialists. Some key points that will be addressed are the following:
  • Bereavement
  • Boundaries
  • Case studies/scenarios
  • Internship/practicum application and interviewing

Seminars are conducted based on interest and availability of staff.

Please call the Child Life Department at (256) 265-7242 for further questions.

Child Life Internship Opportunities

The internship is offered in the spring and fall semesters.  One intern is chosen for each session.  The internship equals 680 hours.  The breakdown includes the following, but will be adjusted to best fit the needs of the learner:

  • 1 week – orientation
  • 6 weeks – inpatient rotation
  • 6 weeks – outpatient rotation
  • 1 week – interdepartmental observation
  • 3 weeks – additional inpatient/outpatient opportunity

It is expected that the intern is in an observatory role at first, then progress towards independence.  Daily debriefing with the clinical rotation supervisor and weekly debriefing with the internship coordinator ensures communication and fosters growth.  This clinical internship follows the Internship Readiness Common Application process, deadline/offer dates, requirements for supervision, and ACLP Internship Curriculum Modules.

Hospitals and academic programs in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee will be participating in a pilot internship match program for the Spring 2025 cycle. The pilot program is an effort to enhance the child life internship application process for all stakeholders. Our child life program has chosen to participate in this pilot, and therefore, we will only be accepting applications from matriculating students affiliated with one of the academic programs participating in the pilot. Outside of the pilot program, our child life program will not be taking interns for the Spring of 2025. For a list of hospitals and universities participating in the pilot, visit the SEACLP Instagram page @SEACLP.

Music Therapy Internship Opportunities

Our Music Therapy Program offers a full-time internship program combining free educational classes with clinical experience. College students will receive opportunities to work with physical, occupational and speech therapists, as well as certified Child Life specialists, social workers, nurses, techs, certified nurse practitioners and physicians at Huntsville Hospital and Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children.

For more information, contact:
Kate Winn, MA, MT-BC, NICU MT, NMT
Board-Certified Music Therapist
(256) 265-4461
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