Are you interested in a Child Life career?

The practicum program here at Spence and Becky Wilson Baptist Children’s Hospital is a minimum of 120 hours pre-internship experience for students interested in learning more about the Child Life field. Potential practicum students may be enrolled at a college or university throughout the duration of the desired practicum program, or have completed their degree prior to the practicum. The Practicum program is during the Spring and Fall terms. If applications are either incomplete or not postmarked by May 5th for the Fall term or Oct 5th for the Spring term, they will not be accepted.

Practicum Details:

  • The practicum student will be able to choose two consistent days - 2 or 3 days a week for 17 weeks to complete their hours.
    • Spring term -January – May
    • Fall term – Aug - Dec
  • Student must be at least a Sophomore in college, majoring in Child Development (or a similar field of study) and currently enrolled in college, or have already graduated
  • Deadline: No late applications will be accepted
    • Fall deadline May 5th
    • Spring deadline October 5th
  • The practicum will be between 100-200 hours within the following areas:
    • Surgery
    • General Inpatient Unit
    • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
    • Emergency Department
    • Radiology Services
    • Outpatient Services

Goals and Objectives of the Practicum:

  • Gain an understanding of the Child Life field
  • Experience one-on-one interactions with children in the hospital setting through play
  • Observation of preparation, advocacy, medical play, developmental play, procedural support, and surgery preparation
  • Gain confidence in building rapport with families, providing developmentally-appropriate activities, and promoting play in positive ways

Student Expectations:

Students will be expected to complete weekly journals and observations, research article readings, planning activities, developmental observations, completion of a special project, and evaluations at the end of the practicum program. Students will be expected to wear business casual throughout the practicum experience. Students are also responsible for making their own arrangements for housing and meals.

Application Review:

All required materials must be postmarked by the application deadline of May 5th or October 5th in order to be considered a candidate for our spring and fall practicum program. Applicants that meet the requirements will be reviewed, and those that move forward will be contacted by the department for a phone/in-person interview. Following the interviews, offers will be made to those applicants chosen. Applications not chosen will receive an email along with feedback.

Application Requirements:

  • Completed Application
  • Resume
  • Unofficial Transcripts
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
    • Non-family members, in a sealed envelope with reference’s signature on flap
  • Proof of 100 hours of working with children (part of the application)
    • 50 hours with well children
    • 50 hours in a hospital under the direction of a Certified Child Life Specialist

Download application

Please Send Completed Applications and other documentation needed to complete packet to:

Spence and Becky Wilson Baptist Children’s Hospital
Attn: Child Life Department
6225 Humphrey’s Boulevard 
Memphis, TN 38120

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Child Life Department at 901-227-9897 or by email at