Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Practicum

Updated: 

Practicums are a buzz word right now in the field of child life. They are becoming a necessary HAVE BECOME a NECESSARY component of your child life journey and more and more hospitals are requiring them as a prerequisite for internships. 

We were both (lucky) apart of a practicum program through our university. Two hospitals within a 1-2 hour drive had an agreement with our program to interview and select from our school. Since we graduated, this program has been dissolved and our students apply independently for practicums (though our professor still helps tremendously with this process). 



A child life practicum is a great step to take that allows you to shadow a child life specialist, learn tips and tricks, and really see what day to day on the job looks like. It's a great bridge between volunteering and interning. 

The ACLP does not *currently* require a child life practicum, but they have begun to make recommendations regarding the design of a practicum. Our practicum was only 75 hours but others are much longer. If you look for an independent program, we recommend looking for a 50-100 hour practicum.

Be prepared to have to travel for a child life practicum, especially if you don't live near a children's hospital. Caroline and I traveled two hours there and two hours back to school each week for our practicum. Just go ahead and plan for that gas money and living expenses now because unfortunately that's the way our profession rolls right now. But trust us, it's worth the experience.

Our practicums set us up with valuable experience and interactions that allowed us a multitude of examples to share while interviewing for internships. 

***One thing you may want to make note of when applying and interviewing for practicums: Be sure that you do not have the duties of a volunteer, such as toy cleaning. Make sure that hospital is going to allow you to shadow the child life specialists. 

Another note is that not all hospitals advertise their practicum online currently, so you may have to start making phone calls. Don't worry, it may be awkward, but this is excellent practice for applying for internships! 

   Good luck! Let us know how it goes! We wish you the best! 
-Caroline&Sydney

2 comments:

Ashley Wise said...

I have my fist practicum interview next week! What kind of questions from your experience will they ask?

Anonymous said...

Hello there! Thanks for your encouragement in regard to CL practicum programs. They are indeed a bridge between volunteering and internship but are becoming quite competitive - our program leans heavily toward accepting only those students who have become committed to become Child Life Specialists versus students that have not quite decided on their career path. I also wanted to mention - cleaning toys is NOT just the duty of a volunteer!