To get the best possible outcome from Child Life, it’s important for the entire family to get involved. Our staff works closely with parents and guardians to provide support and understanding of what the child is going through. We also provide information and support to siblings to help them cope with the situation.
Special places for children
In addition to the playrooms, Child Life staff members maintain other special rooms to help hospitalized children feel at home. Children’s – Minneapolis and Children – St. Paul have libraries with books and audiotapes. Special facilities in the clinics, emergency rooms, short stay units and day surgery centers give children a place to play. Teenagers’ recreational needs are met with movies, video games, computers and a teen lounge on each of the two main hospital campuses.
About our child life professionals
Children’s has two kinds of Child Life professionals on our team:
- Our certified child life specialists have a bachelor’s or master’s degrees in fields such as child development, education and child psychology. They specialize in working with children in healthcare settings and address the child’s need to understand and cope emotionally with the medical experience.
- Our child life associates have associate or bachelor’s degrees in development. They focus on a child’s needs for play to support normal growth and development.
All Child Life staff members see patients in playrooms, waiting areas and patient rooms.
Physicians admitting a child may call the Child Life department in advance for information on preparing the child for hospitalization. For information call:
- 651-220-6465 for Children’s – St. Paul
- 612-813-6259 for Children’s – Minneapolis
- 952-930-8600 for Children’s – Minnetonka
Child life internships
We offer student internships and supervised exposure experiences for students to learn more about the Child Life department and hospitalized children. If you have questions about future internship opportunities, please call the Child Life department at 612-813-7378.
Expectations of the student
The student will need to:
- Commit to one full semester (14 – 16 weeks), 40 hours/week
- Have a flexible schedule, including some weekends and evenings
- Provide the clinical internship coordinator with a list of expectations and requirements from the university
- Maintain contact with university supervisor
- Complete required readings, weekly journal, final case study or project, and other assignments