*Please be advised that students completing the Child Life Specialist concentration cannot be placed in internship sites within the states of North Carolina and New York due to state licensure regulations.
HSDD 5510: Foundations of Child Life and Family-Centered Care
This course will provide an introduction to the spectrum of child life practice in direct and non-direct services in pediatric health care including a historical review of the profession and its development in the evolution of children's healthcare. Students will develop an understanding and affirmation of the values of supporting individual development, family-centered care, therapeutic relationship and developmentally appropriate communication. Additionally, students will learn to represent and communicate child life practice and psychosocial issues of infants, children, youth and families. This course will provide students with the knowledge and effective strategies to assess and support healthy interactions between families and outside institutions. Continuous engagement in self-reflective professional child life practice will also be a focus of this course.
HSDD 5515: Ethics in Child Life
This course will provide students with the insight necessary to identify and manage ethical and professional issues within a multidisciplinary approach in clinical and research settings. Students will learn the ethical and legal issues surrounding healthcare, including transition of pediatric patients to adult healthcare; medical treatment; and medical technology, including: advance directives and living wills, resource allocation, transplantation issues, withholding and termination of treatment, and death and dying. Both the ethical and legal perspectives regarding how to support patients and their family members when making challenging medical choices will be explored. The official documents of the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) including the Code of Ethical Responsibility, Child Life Competencies and Standards of Clinical Practice, the Child Life Mission, Values and Vision Statements, and the Code of Professional Practice and their role in ethics will also be addressed. Students will also develop the ability to evaluate child life services and make recommendations for program improvement. As part of this course, teaching and supervision of students and volunteers will be addressed.
HSDD 5520: Child and Adolescent Growth and Development
This course will examine issues in human development that are especially relevant to infants, children and adolescents. It is designed to present theory, research and evidence-based practice concerning the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development of children. Typical versus atypical developmental progress, as well as factors that threaten to impede typical development will be addressed. This course will also emphasize cultural competence when working with children and families in a collaborative context.
HSDD 5525: Medical Terminology for the Child Life Professional
Students participating in this course will receive an introduction to medical terminology, designed to increase familiarity with medical terms while reviewing basic anatomy and physiology; an introduction to medical procedures and diagnoses; and will discuss ways to explain common tests, procedures, and diagnoses to children of different developmental levels and children with developmental differences Prerequisite: HSDD 5510
HSDD 5530: Interventions in Child Life
This course will introduce students to theories and intervention techniques that help children and families cope with stress from hospitalization or other life events that disrupt normal development. Strategies to assist with issues such as pain management; adjustment to chronic illness and long-term hospitalization; and adherence to medication management and routine medical care will be covered. Students will learn to assess and implement developmentally appropriate interventions, based on empirical data, to create individualized treatment plans in collaboration with the treatment team. The central role of play therapy in child life services will be emphasized, along with the provision of a safe, therapeutic and healing environment. Prerequisite: HSDD 5510
HSDD 5532: Therapeutic Benefits of Play
This course will provide students with training necessary to identify and understand the therapeutic benefits of various types of play. We will discuss the classical and contemporary theories of play, assessment of children’s understanding using play, play principles and values, the role of play in the development of children, the structure of therapeutic play sessions, promoting creativity in play, providing guidance of play in a therapeutic context, the function of play in curriculum and program development, and the therapeutic benefits of play for the hospitalized child.
HSDD 5550: Child Life Internship I (Elective)
Students will be required to successfully complete a specified number hours of child life clinical experience under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist who meets specific qualifications at an approved setting. During that time, the students will be expected to increase their competence in the areas of basic interviewing, assessment, and intervention skills. Furthermore, integration of ethical, legal, and professional issues inherent in child life service delivery will be addressed. Best practice and conflict resolution issues will also be incorporated. Prerequisite(s): HSDD 5510, HSDD 5530
HSDD 5560: Child Life Internship II (Elective)
Students will be required to successfully complete a specified number hours of child life clinical experience under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist who meets specific qualifications at an approved setting. During that time, the students will be expected to increase their competence in the areas of basic interviewing, assessment, and intervention skills. Furthermore, integration of ethical, legal, and professional issues inherent in child life service delivery will be addressed. Best practice and conflict resolution issues will also be incorporated. Prerequisite(s): HSDD 5510, HSDD 5530, HSDD 5550
Child Life Specialist Internship Information
Students may elect to complete their internship at an NSU approved child life specialist site. During their training, students are expected to complete a minimum of 560 clinical training hours under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist. NSU's clinical training representative is available to assist students in securing internship opportunities.
The child life concentration offered in the M.S. in Developmental Disabilities program is designed to prepare students for certification as a child life specialist. For detailed information regarding certification requirements and application, please visit the Child Life Council.