Children's Services and Specialties

Child Life Clinical Opportunities

Alabama Child Life Accredited Internship Program SealChild life specialists are prepared at the bachelors and masters levels in Child Life, Child Development and other related fields. Professional certification is available to qualified candidates through the Child Life Certification Commission. Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) must pass the Child Life Professional Certification Examination. For more information, contact the Association of Child Life Professionals. If you are interested in the opportunities offered at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children, click on the category of interest below.

Practicum Opportunities

Practicum is offered in the summer, spanning the month of June. The practicum experience at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children is an observational role, shadowing Certified Child Life Specialists in multiple areas. The student follows a full-time work schedule, along with completing assignments equivalent to the workload of one class. Four practicum students are chosen each session. This practicum program follows the recommended standards from the Association of Child Life Professionals.

Child Life Internship Opportunities

Due to changes in staffing, we are not hosting a fall 2021 internship.

The internship is offered in the fall semester only. One intern is chosen for each session. The internship equals 17 weeks, 680 hours. The breakdown includes the following:

  • 1-week orientation
  • 6-week rotation: outpatient
  • 6-week rotation: inpatient
  • 1 week: visiting other areas and other child life programs
  • 3 weeks: additional outpatient/inpatient area
It is expected that the intern is in an observatory role at first then progresses towards independence. Daily debriefing with the clinical rotation supervisor and weekly debriefing with the internship coordinator ensures communication and fosters growth. This clinical internship follows the standards set for clinical internship accreditation.

Music Therapy Internship Opportunities

Our Music Therapy Program offers a full-time internship program combining free educational classes with clinical experience. College students will receive opportunities to work with physical, occupational and speech therapists, as well as certified Child Life specialists, social workers, nurses, techs, certified nurse practitioners and physicians at Huntsville Hospital and Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children.

Areas of Service

  • Adult In-patient Palliative Care
  • Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
  • Outpatient Pediatric Therapy and Audiology
  • Adult Outpatient Infusion


Applicants must meet all pre-requisites before they can be considered for the internship. This includes an interview and audition with the instrument of your choice to evaluate music skill, therapy/clinical skills and professionalism.

How to Apply

Please submit the following to: Kari Podboy, MT-BC Internship Director Child Life Department at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children, 245 Governors Dr. SE, Huntsville, AL 35801; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Application with official transcripts; Applications are due on March 1 of each year to begin the internship for the fall semester.
  • Current resume
  • Three signed recommendation/verification letters
  • Written documentation from a university must be provided:
    • Health/drug screen
    • Criminal background check
    • CPR Certification
    • Professional liability insurance
    • Negative TB skin test within the past three months (if previously tested positive, a chest x-ray is needed within the past year)
    • Varicella titer drawn
    • MMR vaccination
    • Completed series of three Hepatitis-B vaccine or informed refusal of vaccine
    • Tetanus/diphtheria booster is recommended if 10 years have elapsed since last booster


For more information, contact:
Kari Podboy , MT-BC Internship Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(256) 265-7990

Shadowing Opportunities

Shadow opportunities are available to interested individuals ages 16 years – adult wanting to observe a child life specialist during his/her work. The shadow participant remains in an observatory role, without having hands-on contact with a patient or family. Shadowing times are offered throughout the year, except for the month of June and the week of Thanksgiving through Christmas. All times are based on the availability of a child life specialist. Prerequisites include completing the shadow packet, readings, and assignments.

Child Life Seminars

The child life staff offers a learning seminar to interested students and adults wanting to know more about the field. The seminar is composed of two varying sessions:

Child Life Seminar 101

This seminar is open to high school juniors/seniors, college students, and adults interested in learning more about the field of child life. This is an introductory seminar to learn more about the child life profession. Some key topics that will be discussed are the following:
  • What is child life?
  • How do I follow the child life career path to become a child life specialist?
  • What does a typical day look like in this profession?

Child Life Seminar 102

This seminar is open to college juniors and seniors who are actively pursuing a degree or concentration in child life. The pre-requisite for the seminar includes having completed or currently taking a child life specific class (e.g. Introduction to Child Life, Hospitalized Child).This is an opportunity for some hands-on learning experience with Certified Child Life Specialists. Some key points that will be addressed are the following:
  • Bereavement
  • Boundaries
  • Case studies/scenarios
  • Internship/practicum application and interviewing
Typically, the 101 Seminar is held twice per year, and the 102 Seminar is held once per year. Dates vary according to availability of the teaching venue.

Seminar Applications