The child life internship program at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children is a concentrated, full-time placement where students gain practical, hands-on experience under the direction of a certified child life specialist. It will serve as the vehicle by which a student will build on their coursework and put theory into practice. The primary objective is to afford the student with an experience to gain enhanced knowledge of psychosocial care, demonstrate assessment and intervention skills, increase independence, and be better prepared for an entry-level position.

Current Affiliated Schools

Students applying for an internship should be enrolled in one of the following schools in order to be eligible for consideration:

  • University of Alabama
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Iowa
  • Texas State University
  • Ohio University

Internship Structure

The internship is a structured experience designed to meet the minimum standards set out by the Child Life Certifying Commission and the Association for Child Life Professionals. Students must be prepared to adhere to the program outline. The internship session for APMC is:
16 weeks in length
A minimum of 640 hours
Inclusive of day, evening, weekend and holiday shifts

Internship Prerequisites

To be considered for an internship, student candidates must meet the following requirements prior to placement:

  • Verification of status as an undergraduate senior or graduate student
  • Verification of a practicum experience supervised by a Certified Child Life Specialist
  • Verification of successful completion, or be in the process of completing a class taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist which addresses the following topics:
    • Child Life documents
    • Family Centered Care
    • Scope of Practice
    • Impact of Illness on Patients and Families
    • Therapeutic Play
    • Preparation
  • Verification of successful completion, or in process of completing, the 10 courses that reflect the content areas required by the ACLP.
  • Verification of a 3.0 or better grade point average. Students must provide a copy of their most recent transcripts so that appropriate academic preparation can be determined.
  • Verification of 100 hours of experience with well infants, children, youth and/or families 
  • Verification of 100 hours of experience with infants, children, youth and/or families in stressful situations, health care settings and/or programs designed for children with special needs 
  • Student must be certified in infant, child and adult CPR prior to and during internship.
  • Students must be from a school with current affiliation with APMC

Along with meeting the above criteria, students should possess certain qualities in working with patients and their families. Student candidates must display a sincere interest and ability in working with patients and families within a medical setting. Students must also demonstrate flexibility, show initiative and enthusiasm, and have the ability to get along well with others. A commitment to the profession of child life and a willingness to learn from every experience and situation is imperative to the success of the student experience.

For consideration for a student placement at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer, please download and complete the common application

If applying for the internship experience, please mail the following items to: Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for children, Child Life Department, MP #309, Attn: Internship Coordinator, 92 W. Miller St., Orlando, FL 32806. This hospital does adhere to the deadlines set forth by the ACLP.

  • A completed Common Application
  • Verification of 100 hours working with children in a Healthcare setting (inpatient/outpatient/doctor’s office/chronic illness camp) and/or children in stressful circumstances (grief centers, bereavement camp, child protective team, early intervention, DCF, foster care, homeless, behavioral health services)
  • Verification of 100 hours working with well children (nanny, teaching, daycare, coaching)
  • A copy of your transcripts from all universities or colleges attended (doesn’t need to be official)
  • Two references using the new form from the Common Application
  • One letter of reference from a currently Certified Child Life Specialist (an academic advisor, practicum supervisor, etc.)
  • A letter of interest explaining why you believe Orlando Health Arnold Palmer is a good fit for your internship training

Child Life Practicum Program

Students applying for a practicum can be associated with any university but should be prepared to on-board as a hospital volunteer, attend an orientation session, and submit to a background check and drug screen.

Practicum Structure

The practicum is a structured observation and guided learning experience designed to give students an introduction to the hospital setting as well as the work of a Child Life Specialist.

Practicum Prerequisites

In order to be considered for a practicum, student candidates must meet the following requirements prior to placement:

  • Verification as an undergraduate senior or graduate student.
  • Verification of a practicum experience supervised by a Certified Child Life Specialist
  • Verification of successful completion, or be in the process of completing a class taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist which addresses the following topics:
    • Child Life documents
    • Family Centered Care
    • Scope of Practice
    • Impact of Illness on Patients and Families
    • Therapeutic Play
    • Preparation
  • Verification of a 3.0 or better grade point average. Students must provide a copy of their most recent school transcripts so that appropriate academic preparation can be determined.
  • Verification of 50 hours of experience with well infants, children, youth and/or families.
  • Verification of 50 hours of experience with infants, children, youth and/or families in stressful situations, health care settings and/or programs designed for children with special needs.

To apply for the practicum, please download and complete the application.