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Child Life Practicum Overview

Students work 10 hours per week for 12 weeks (120 hours).  Hours may be adjusted to fit students’ schedules.  The practicum serves as an introduction to the child life profession.  In addition to providing bedside and playroom activities, shadowing opportunities of child life specialists are provided.

A proud member of the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), the Children's Hospital of Michigan is the first children's hospital in the state. This 228-bed facility has an international reputation in pediatric medicine, surgery and research, training more pediatricians than any other facility in Michigan.

Child life is an essential part of the interdisciplinary team at the Children's Hospital of Michigan and is highly valued by the patients and families that we serve.  The Child Life department consists of several staff members.  The manager of child life supervises certified child life specialists, child life assistants, school teachers, music therapists, art therapist and a project specialist.

During the practicum experience, students will learn to:

  1. Recognize the importance of play for children/teens who are hospitalized
  2. Develop a comfort level for working in a hospital setting
  3. Assess various developmental and ability levels
  4. Select age appropriate toys and activities for patients and siblings
  5. Feel comfortable running the activity centers independently
  6. Work with interdisciplinary teams
  7. Present self in a professional manner
  8. Effectively articulate the role of a certified child life specialist to others

Interested candidates may contact Maureen Stys, Senior Child Life Specialist, for additional information at (313)-745-1124 or