The Children’s Hospital, located at 13123 East 16th Avenue in Aurora, Colorado, offers Therapeutic Recreation/Child Life Internships. The internship program aims to provide undergraduate and graduate students with the chance to learn all aspects of pediatric setting so as to prepare them for employment and certification.
The Children’s Hospital internship program is good for 560 hours, being offered twice a year – fall and spring. For the next 12 weeks after a week of orientation, students focus on patient care, divided into three rotations. Throughout the program, students are supervised by a certified specialist. The internship culminates with a “wrap-up week.”
Interns will be assigned at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD), serving both inpatients and outpatients, and at the General Medical/Clinical Translational Research Center, providing care for patients from infancy to adulthood.
The Therapeutic Recreation/Child Life Department utilizes recreation and play as the main mode of treatment to advance or maintain the developmental skills of patients, as well as restore or promote their emotional well-being. It supports the commitment of the hospital to quality care by promoting a holistic, child-centered method to treatment.
The department’s vision is to offer equitable services recognizing the individuality of families and patients. Working as a group, it capitalizes on its strength to develop skills and cultivate mastery through cost effective, high-tech interventions. It aims to promote wellness as an essential part of medical excellence to attain quality results in the pediatric healthcare’s dynamic environment.
One of the goals of the TR/CL Department is to use play and recreation to help patients develop, maintain and enhance their social/emotional, cognitive, physical, leisure and communication functioning. It provides patients and families with various resources and services that will help them achieve patient outcomes.
TR/CL students take advantage of several amenities at the hospital, which include free parking, communal office space including access to computer and email, employee discounts at the cafeteria, concierge services, pager and free education opportunities. Interns also enjoy access to the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Medical Library, Family Resource Center and The Children’s Hospital Medical Library.
As professionals who are responsible for the training and advancement of candidates into the fields of TR/CL, the department selects those who are committed and motivated to the profession. Having classes in family relations, child/human development, psychology, hospitalized/handicapped child and cultural diversity are particularly useful. The management also gives preference to those who have experience working with kids in a healthcare setting.