Tips for child life students

We’re living in a time when we’re pulling out our phones and taking pictures of everything. Take advantage of our easy access to photography and take pictures of your work! Therapeutic activities you come up with, medical art, crafts, child life events, cards/pictures given to you by patients, etc. You’ll love this decision when it comes time to applying to practicums/internships/jobs and you have a wide range of photos to choose from to include in your portfolio. In a field as competitive as ours, it’s important to really show what you have to offer & what better way than with an album of your best work!

* CAREFUL! Keep in mind there are laws & regulations when it comes to photographing patients in the hospital (HIPPA) – I am encouraging students to take pictures of their work , not of their patients. Not only is it against the law but a future employer will notice if you’ve violated these laws. *


Tips for child life students

I remember feeling nervous a lot during my practicum and internship because I feared not knowing exactly what to do in any given situation – what if I prep a 6-year-old for a CT Scan and they still freak out? What do I say to a 14-year-old that just found out she is pregnant? How do I convince a 4-year-old to eat his scrambled eggs for his food allergy trial? Did this mean I didn’t study enough? Or that I wasn’t a good CCLS in training? No!

It wasn’t until I was half way through my internship that I confessed this fear to my supervisor and she told me “You are not expected to know what to do in every situation. You’re a student and you’re here to learn from us. It’ll take many years of experience to know how to handle every situation and even then you might be surprised.” Those words helped me tremendously not only in accepting that there were things I have yet to learn but it also helped me focus on what I do know. Now, as a first year ccls, there are still situations that I won’t know exactly how to handle & that’s okay! With my academic background and the experiences from my practicum/internship, I feel confident that when an uncomfortable situation arises I’ll be able to figure it out.


June bulletin board

Have you all been keeping up with the World Cup ? For the month of June I gave our bulletin board a little make over! I usually give patients those gold medals for great acts of bravery & a few have exclaimed they got one “just like from the board!” – so cute!

{ gold medals: }


Easy peasy waiting room activity

I just recently had a volunteer assigned to my department which I am very excited about! By having a volunteer, I can now engage patients with fun activities that can help normalize the environment & beat the boredom while they wait. One activity that I put together is a simple “greeting cards” craft.

– construction paper
– markers
– foam stickers

encourage patients to create a greeting card for a loved one, their doctor, their nurse, their child life specialist ;), or another patient!


Child Life Conference: Recap!

Just last month I went to the Child Life Conference in New Orleans. This was my first time attending conference and it was MAGICAL! I don’t know why I had never gone as a student – I guess I thought that going to conference was more of a professionals thing to go to, but I was wrong! To all of you Child Life Students out there reading my blog, GO TO CONFERENCE IF YOU’RE ABLE TO! They have a little session for students and it’s such an amazing networking opportunity for future internships, jobs, and schools.

Here’s a recap of all of the fun:


New Orleans was a BLAST to visit. I’ve been to NOLA before but it’s such a fun city full of culture, delicious food, and child life specialists (during conference anyways)!



Exhibit Hall:

Alright so, I love shopping just as much as the next girl… especially when it’s for Child Life things! The exhibit hall was full of vendors that tailor to Child Life Specialist. This was a great place to see what resources are out there in the Child Life world as a professional and for personal things like cute water bottles, child life badges, and postcards.


Some of my favorites from the exhibit hall were:
(I was not paid by any of these companies/organizations to promote them – although, that would be really cool if I was.)


20140604-164241-60161995.jpg – no mess coloring play books – send free comfort kits to pediatric patients – fish tank on wheels! – life size stuffed monkey to sit in (chronically ill patients) seat at school – provide resources to children/families in hospitals




Being able to choose sessions to go to and be surrounded by fellow CCLS was so exciting. I learned a lot from the sessions I went to and the CLC even handed out jump drives with all of the powerpoints/handouts from all of the sessions so you don’t miss out on anything. There were also many people at the CLC from around the world to participate in the international summit following the child life conference.



Child life library


Things have been so hectic this past week since coming back from conference! Luckily I had some time this morning to enjoy my coffee & take notes on my new book: “prescription for success: supporting children with autism spectrum disorder in the medical environment” by Jill Hudson. If time is kind to me, I hope to soon be able to write a review and let you all know how it is! Stay tuned, child life-ers!

Teddy bear casting clinic

Today my fellow CCLS & I helped in hosting a teddy bear casting clinic outside of a local children’s theater. It was so much fun! The kids loved learning how to cast their bears & being able to feel the supplies used. We successfully casted tons of Teddy’s with broken arms and legs.


(No teddy bears were hurt during the making of this event.)

Kid Flicks

Image is an AMAZING organization that donates movie libraries (100 DVDs) to hospitals around the world! They’ve been donating DVDs to children’s hospitals since 2002 and have donated to 750 hospitals as of May 2014! Follow the link below to read their full story & show your support 🙂

Course Work Review —> Eligibility Assessment Service


I’ve been having a couple of Child Life students e-mail me asking about the pre-practicum/internship process. Since the Child Life Council (CLC) is currently restructuring this process, it can be a little confusing. Here’s what’s going on:

Up until April of this year, the process went like this: you submitted a “course work review” to the CLC – a document listing 15 child-related courses you’ve taken, 10 of which need to be approved. They would then send you back the course work review document signed, dated, and (hopefully) approved. That would then serve as your “golden ticket” to apply to practicums/internships.

However, the CLC is currently changing the system and the “new version” of the course work review – the Eligibility Assessment Service – will not be available until mid-july. This link goes more into detail about the switch & what the new version entails: {}.

One Last Hug

One Last Hug

I came across this documentary this weekend on HBO. I definitely recommend it! It gives great insight to bereavement camps and the way children view death. According to my U-Verse info, it will be available until May 12, 2014.

More info: