Child life at Methodist Children’s Hospital

While your child is being cared for at Methodist Children’s Hospital, you may request the services of a child life specialist to help them with the support they need. Our child life specialists help children in the hospital with any anxieties or stresses they are having and help families throughout their stay with us.

Child life specialists are trained professionals with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in child development or a related field. Our specialists focus on the psychosocial needs of your child by collaborating and developing supportive relationships with their parents and other healthcare professionals to increase familiarity with our hospital environment.

At Child Life, our mission statement is: “As child life specialists, we strive to minimize the stress and anxiety of our pediatric patients and their families. As a team, we are dedicated to providing children and families with support in order to promote and foster family-centered care.”

Pediatric therapeutic gaming program

As a specialized branch of the Child Life Department, our Patient Technology Specialist (PTS) provides therapeutic interventions using technology and gaming in order to minimize stress and provide patients with a sense of normalcy. Additionally, the PTS provides technical assistance and expertise for staff, develops new technology-related opportunities for patients, and orchestrates bedside therapeutic interventions. This unique program was the first of its kind in Texas and remains the only designated therapeutic gaming program in San Antonio.

Contact us

To request the services of a child life specialist, please ask your child’s nurse for a referral or contact Child Life directly. You may also request a Child Life pre-admission or pre-operative tour for patients and their families to help all parties involved become more comfortable with the care they are about to receive. To schedule a tour, please call Child Life.

Call Child Life: (210) 575-7399

Child Life Specialists are highly educated, trained professionals with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in child development or related field. Child Life Specialists focus on the psychosocial needs of children by collaborating and developing supportive relationships with parents and other health care professionals to increase familiarity with the hospital environment. Child Life Specialists are able to facilitate coping strategies and decrease anxiety through: play, procedure preparation and support, education, self-expression activities and school services.

  • Play: It is a child’s job to play. Play normalizes the hospital environment and encourages children to express their feelings, concerns and understanding of hospitalization.
  • Procedure Preparation and Support: Child Life Specialists prepare patients for what to expect during their hospitalization and use distraction and non-pharmacological pain management techniques during the procedure.
  • Education: Child Life Specialists help patients and families gain a better understanding of a new diagnosis through interactive teaching.
  • School Services: Bridging the gap between home and hospital life, Child Life Specialists are available to set up hospital bound and homebound schooling for those who qualify.
  • Pet Therapy
  • Music Therapy
  • Art Therapy

Due to visitor restrictions, our department is currently unable to provide in-person pre-surgical tours. We have created “virtual tours” based on your child’s developmental level to help all parties involved become more comfortable with the care they are about to receive. For any additional questions or needs, please call the child life department at (210) 575-7399.

Pre-school
School-age
Teenager

Volunteer opportunities

The volunteers who donate their time to Methodist Children’s Hospital play an important role in the experience of our patients and families. They support the Hospital's mission to care for not just the patient, but the entire family by working alongside healthcare professionals. We are always looking for new volunteers to join the Methodist Children’s Hospital team!

Many of our volunteers work directly with patients:

  • Assisting in hospital playrooms
  • Providing bedside activities for patients
  • Delivering Art Cart supplies to patients rooms

Is your dog certified as a pet therapy dog? If so, you might be a fit for pet therapy volunteering.


Requirements

  • At least 16 years old
  • 18 years of age to work directly with patients
  • Complete an application and background check form
  • Interview with the Child Life volunteer coordinator
  • Willing to commit to work at least 100 hours annually
  • Attend Orientation
  • Provide immunization records and get a TB test

Volunteer Benefits

  • Complimentary uniforms
  • A free meal while on duty
  • Free parking
  • Discounts in the Blue Bird Gift Shop
  • Scholarships are available to qualified volunteers

Immunizations

For the health and well-being of our volunteers and our patients, we require that all volunteers be immunized against Rubella (German measles) Rubella (red measles). Volunteers will provide to the Employee Health department before volunteering all of the following:

  • Documentation of prior vaccination for MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) if born in 1957 or later.
  • Documentation of any previous TB skin testing within the last five years.
  • Documentation of Hepatitis B vaccine if you have received it.
  • Documentation of the VZV (Chicken pox) vaccine if you have received it.

Practicum opportunities

The Child Life practicum provides students the opportunity to gain insight and exposure to the child life profession and help students understand the unique needs of hospitalized children and families. Students are provided a comprehensive learning experience encompassing observations of child life specialists’ interactions with hospitalized children and teens, active participation in various areas of programming, and ongoing supervision and feedback. This exposure is designed to prepare the student for a more the intensive, career-oriented internship training experience.

For questions regarding practicum opportunities, contact the child life department at (210) 575-7399.

Practicum Requirements

  • Completed, or currently pursuing, an undergraduate or graduate degree in child life, psychology, child development, child and family studies, or a related field. Applicants may be independent or university-affiliated.
  • A minimum of 50 hours working or volunteering with children in healthcare setting. All hours must be verified by the institution(s) on official letterhead.
  • Hold a minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
  • Ability to commit to a minimum of 200 hours, which will be completed over the course of 12-15 weeks.
  • Completed TACLP Common Practicum Application

Practicum packets must include:

  • Typed and completed TACLP Common Practicum Application
  • All academic transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable)
  • Typed question responses
  • Verification of at least 50 volunteer hours with hospitalized children listed on the TACLP common application
  • Two (2) TACLP reference forms (at least one must be from a healthcare professional who observed you interacting with children) signed and sealed in separate envelopes.
  • Professional resume

Mail Completed application to:

Methodist Children's Hospital
Child Life Department
ATTN: Student Committee
7700 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229

Methodist Children’s Hospital follows the guidelines recommended by the Association of Child Life Professionals regarding application, offer, and acceptance dates. For further information, please visit www.childlife.org.


Summer 2020 Practicum

  • Application Deadline: January 19th, 2020
  • Initial Offer Dates: February 25th, 2020
  • Acceptance Date: February 26th, 2020
  • 2nd Offer Date: February 27th, 2020

Fall 2020 Practicum

  • Application Deadline: January 5, 2018
  • Initial Offer Date: February 13, 2018
  • Acceptance Date: February 14, 2018
  • 2nd Offer Date: February 15, 2018

Spring/Winter 2020 Practicum

  • Application Deadline: September 5th, 2020
  • Initial Offer Dates: October 27th, 2020
  • Acceptance Date: October 28th, 2020
  • 2nd offer Date: October 29th, 2020

Summer 2021 Practicum

  • Application deadline: January 19th, 2021
  • Initial Offer Dates: February 23rd, 2021
  • Acceptance Date: February 24th, 2021
  • 2nd offer Date: February 25th, 2021

Fall 2021 Practicum

  • Application deadline: March 29th, 2021
  • Initial offer dates: May 18th, 2021
  • Acceptance Date: May 19th, 2021
  • 2nd offer Date: May 20th, 2021

Internship opportunities

The Methodist Children’s Hospital Child Life internship is an intensive 600-hour clinically based program that meets national accreditation standards set by the Association of Child Life Professionals. It is our goal to provide students with opportunities to apply their knowledge of child development and theories to help patients and families adjust to their unique healthcare experience. Throughout the semester, students will enhance their assessment, therapeutic play skills and develop their ability to provide education and procedural preparation and support. Interns will complete two, six-week rotations supervised by a CCLS who meets all supervision requirements of the ACLP. Interns will gain exposure to multiple medical areas based on the semester in which they apply. Our internship selection process consists of application reviews followed by multiple interviews. Internships are offered based on deadlines set by the ACLP.

Due to the volume of applications this department receives, we are unable to confirm if or when an application arrives. Consider sending your application via Certified Mail for a confirmation receipt.

For questions regarding internship opportunities, contact the child life department at (210) 575-7399.

  • Completed, or currently pursuing, an undergraduate or graduate degree in child life, psychology, child development, child and family studies, or a related field. Our facility only accepts affiliated intern applicants.
  • Applicants must have completed a minimum of 100 hours of experience working with well infants, children, youth and/or families.
  • An additional 100 hours must be fulfilled working with infants, children, youth and/or families in stressful situations, health care settings or programs designed for children with special needs prior to application.
  • Completion of at least 120 hours practicum experience verified by practicum supervisor. Practicum must be completed at time of application.
  • Completion of a minimum of 10 college-level courses in child life or related field verified by ACLP Child Life Course Verification Form.
  • Hold a minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
  • Ability to commit to a minimum of 600 hours.

Internship packets must include:

  • Typed Common Child Life Internship Application
  • Unofficial Academic Transcripts from all universities attended
  • ACLP Official Eligibility Assessment Report
  • Verification of practicum hours Practicum Experience Verification (Form)
  • Verification of volunteer hours
  • Three (3) letters of reference (at least one must be from a certified child life specialist). Our department is now accepting the reference forms included in the common application.

Mail Completed application to:

Methodist Children's Hospital
Child Life Department
ATTN: Student Committee
7700 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229

Methodist Children’s Hospital follows the guidelines recommended by the Association of Child Life Professionals regarding application, offer, and acceptance dates. For further information, please visit ChildLife.org.

Winter/Spring 2021 Internship

  • Application Deadline: September 5, 2020
  • Initial Offer Date: October 13, 2020
  • Acceptance Date: October 14, 2020
  • 2nd Offer Date: October 15, 2020

Fall 2021 Internship

  • Application Deadline: March 15, 2021
  • Initial Offer Date: May 4, 2021
  • Acceptance Date: May 5, 2021
  • 2nd Offer Date: May 6, 2021

Download:

Helpful Links

App Downloads

Note: These apps are not endorsed by Methodist Healthcare.
  • Simply Sayin’
  • Lenny–Carb County with Lenny
  • The Human Body
  • Caillou Check Up