A Child Life Specialist (CLS) works in a hospital setting with children and their families. They focus on patients’ social, emotional, and developmental needs and assist children and their families in adjusting to the health care setting and experience. They are trained to understand medical terminology, disease processes, and medical procedures. The CLS is expected to provide a secure and open relationship with the sick patient. This is accomplished through different kinds of therapies. There is a growing need for Child Life Specialists in the current health care system. It is an extremely rewarding profession that leads to a good livelihood and a feeling of accomplishment.
Child Life Specialist Certification can be earned in conjunction with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts or Psychology through Excelsior College. Eleven specific courses are required for this Certification. A TTI advisor will guide each candidate through his/her undergraduate degree.
You must also complete 480 internship hours in a hospital setting; 40 hours a week for 14-15 weeks. Many hospitals require a daily journal, case studies, lesson plans, and written assignments during the internship. Once you complete the Bachelor’s degree, the internship, and pass the Child Life Exam, you will obtain your certification and title of Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS).