Therapeutic Recreation / Child Life Practicum at Children's Hospital Colorado
Note: This page has been recently updated. Please be mindful of new information.
All applicants must be enrolled in a college/university/academic program and receiving credit hours for the practicum.
Contract between the hospital and school will need to be negotiated prior to start of practicum. School must supply worker's compensation and general liability insurance for student activities and education. Student or school must provide proof of professional liability insurance.
As professionals responsible for training and advancing candidates into the fields of Therapeutic Recreation and Child Life (TR/CL), we want to select students who are most motivated and committed to these professions. Specifically, we are looking for practicum students who are educationally well prepared to work with pediatric patients and their families. Having classes, for example, in child/human development, psychology, family relations, cultural diversity, and the hospitalized/handicapped child are especially useful. Additionally, we give strong preference to applicants who have significant experience working with children, ideally in a healthcare setting.
Practicum experiences are intended as an introduction to the field and to help prepare you for a future internship in the field of either Therapeutic Recreation or Child Life. Students will have exposure to the role of Therapeutic Recreation and Child Life in the pediatric hospital setting as well as medical terminology, childhood illnesses and treatments.
Practicum students will be in the hospital two days per week. One day will be 8 hours; 4 hours shadowing certified staff and 4 hours planning, facilitating and evaluating programs in the Teen Lounge. The Teen Lounge is an activity room for patients and visitors 13 years and older from both inpatient and outpatient areas. A variety of recreational and therapeutic activities are facilitated in the Teen Lounge for socialization, normalization, and expression of feelings related to their hospital experience. Special events are planned in the Teen Lounge such as movie nights, tie-dyeing, etc.
The second day, practicum students will have "Education Days". During an Education Day, students will shadow different TR/CL specialists, other hospital professions and have learning experiences as a group. These will be observation days only; students will have time to process observations with specialist.
- Student must be enrolled in a college or university with a 3.0 GPA.
- Student must have "junior" status or be in the third year of college or university.
- Experience working with healthy children or adolescents (hospital volunteer experience beneficial).
- Commitment to learning and advancing knowledge of Therapeutic Recreation/Child Life in a pediatric setting.
- Completed application process.
- If accepted to practicum program, candidate must complete health screening (approx. 2 month time span), obtain a signed hospital/university contract 2 weeks prior to start and complete provided Human Resources Tasks.
- Review Candidate Insurance Information (.doc)
Therapeutic Recreation/Child Life Department documents
Practicum Dates (estimated)
Application Postmark Date
Mid May to end of July
For 2013, the practicum will run from May 13 to August 2.
Note: We only offer practicum experiences in the summer.
The application consists of the following pieces:
- Practicum application
- Provide Academic Advisor Notice to advisor (.doc)
- An unofficial transcript from each university/college you have attended
- A copy of your current resume
- One letter of recommendation from your academic advisor. This letter should also include the statement "As the academic advisor, I have received information on the contract from this applicant and am willing to advocate for university support to reach agreement on the contract."
- One letter of recommendation from someone other than relatives or friends familiar with your work with children/families.
- Therapeutic Recreation/Child Life Work Experience Chart
- A typed response to the following:
- A professional statement explaining why you are exploring a practicum at Children's Hospital Colorado.
- Please list 3 goals and objectives you expect to accomplish during your practicum.
- In 50 words or less, what is a Therapeutic Recreation or Child Life Specialist?
Note: Applications will not be returned.
Before arriving for practicum
Please note that there are requirements that must be completed prior to your practicum. Before applying, please note that volunteer application, training and health screening can take up to 2 months and is a large time commitment.
- Required readings that will be sent upon acceptance into the practicum program
- Completion of hospital and university contract 2 weeks prior to start date.
- Once accepted, you will receive an email from Human Resources requiring health information and other time sensitive tasks. These must be completed 2 weeks prior to start date.
Only completed application packets will be reviewed. Please do not send your packet in different pieces - complete all parts before sending. Submit your packet to:
Attn: Allison B. Donohue, MS, CTRS/CCLS
Children's Hospital Colorado
Therapeutic Recreation/Child Life Department
13123 East 16th Avenue
Aurora, CO 80045
If you need further information, please feel free to contact:
Allison B. Donohue, MS, CTRS/CCLS
TR/CL Internship Coordinator