The Intermountain Child Life Practicum pre-internship experience is an observational experience offered through the Mountain West's premier healthcare system. The practicum helps the student to become more familiar with the discipline of child life by providing opportunities to learn about children’s reactions to hospitalization, encouraging the development of observation skills with individuals and groups, providing a supportive environment to integrate theory into clinical practice, enhancing the student’s experience with planning activities and helping to develop professional communication skills.

Our child life program is over 50 years old. Child Life Services are provided at eight hospitals two free-standing children hospitals and six community hospitals, see hospital locations below. The practicum pre-internship program is offered as an 8-hour per week, one semester practicum, totaling 120 hours. This is a non-paid practicum pre-internship that prepares students for a child life internship. Intermountain does not offer summer practicums.

Goals and Objectives

  • To become more familiar with the child life profession.
  • To integrate theory and research into practice.
  • To understand the value of play in the health care setting and increase the student’s skills in facilitating therapeutic play through planning group and individual activities.
  • To recognize the developmental, psychosocial, and medical needs of patients and families and how those needs are incorporated into goals.
  • To recognize and understand patient’s and family’s reactions to stress, illness, and pain.
  • To develop communication skills with patients, families, and other health care professionals.
  • To recognize the importance of working with the interdisciplinary team.
  • To continue to develop professional maturity, judgment and attitude.
  • To set goals and evaluate performance.


  • Current enrollment as a student at a college or university that is affiliated with Intermountain Health.
  • Current Affiliations:
    • University of Utah
    • Brigham Young University
    • Weber State University
    • Utah Valley University
    • Brigham Young University - Idaho
    • University of Alabama
    • Utah Tech University
    • Idaho State University
    • Southern Utah University
    • Loma Linda University
    • Texas Women's University
    • University of La Verne
    • Utah State University
    • University of California - Santa Barbara
  • Successful completion of a minimum of 15-hours of course work in areas relating to child life (ie; child development, family studies) with at least a B- in each class.
  • 50 documented hours of experience working with children and families, preferably in a hospital or healthcare environment (as a student, volunteer, or employee).
  • Cumulative grade point average of 3.0 of higher.

Application Requirements

  • Completed Application Face Sheet, Application & Questionnaire. Application must be typed.
  • Unofficial transcript(s) verifying enrollment/completion of required coursework and from ALL post-high school institutions
  • Two letters of recommendation or Intermountain Child Life Recommendation forms. These need to be from direct supervisors, or other professionals who have first-hand knowledge of your work with children and families. Letters of recommendation need to be printed on professional letterhead, enclosed in a sealed envelope, and signed by the author across the back flap. If using Intermountain Child Life Recommendation Form, it also needs to be in a signed sealed envelope. If submitting application via email, please have letter or recommendation form with student’s name in the subject line. (John Doe – Recommendation) to
  • A professional resume
  • Verification of all hours listed on application, can be printed on professional letterhead or completed on the Intermountain Child Life Recommendation form and signed by a direct supervisor. (Verification of hours can be emailed to

Application Process

Our practicum pre-internship application due dates are the same as the ACLP internship application deadlines.  You can find these dates at this link. Please scroll to the bottom to see the dates. At this time, Intermountain does not offer a Summer practicum.

Download an Application >

Each application is evaluated according to five components:
  1. Coursework
  2. Academic performance & GPA
  3. Professional recommendations
  4. Quality of application responses
  5. Quality and amount of volunteer and/or paid experience.

Students will be notified about practicum decisions according to the dates established by the ACLP. Invitation for an interview does not guarantee acceptance into the Intermountain Child Life practicum. Incomplete applications will not be considered for the practicum. Telepresence interview will be set-up for students who are outside of the local area. All completed application materials must be mailed together in one packet to:

Primary Children's Hospital
Child Life Practicum Pre-Internship Program
Family Support Services Department
Attn: Sheri Bothell
100 North Mario Capecchi Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84113-1103

Late or incomplete application packets will not be reviewed. All applications must be post marked by the application deadline and received within 5 days of the deadline. Once received, all applications will be thoroughly reviewed. Those individuals who qualify for an interview will be contacted by phone.

Those applicants who do not meet the requirements will be contacted by email. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply to other sites, as spaces are limited.

Being invited for an interview does not guarantee acceptance to the practicum program. If applicants are not local, interviews will be completed virtually.

Please call Sheri Bothell at 801-662-3983 with any questions regarding our practicum program or your application.

Intermountain Hospitals with Child Life Programs 

Primary Children's Hospital and Eccles Outpatient Services

Number of staff: 43
Number of inpatient beds: 289 Level 1 Trauma Center
Inpatient and Outpatient Child Life Services 
Located in Salt Lake City, Utah

Primary Children's Hospital and Eccles Outpatient Services Lehi Campus

Number of staff: 18
Number of inpatient beds: 66 Level 2 Trauma Center
Inpatient and Outpatient Child Life Services
Located in Lehi, Utah

McKay Dee Hospital 

Number of staff: 4
Inpatient and Outpatient Child Life Services
Number of inpatient beds: 310 Pediatric beds: 12
Level II Trauma Center
Located in Ogden, Utah

Utah Valley Hospital 

Number of staff: 6
Inpatient and Outpatient Child Life Services
Number of inpatient beds: 395 Pediatric beds: 16
Level II Trauma Center
Located in Provo, Utah

Riverton Hospital 

Number of staff: 2
Inpatient and Outpatient Child Life Services
Number of inpatient beds: 88 Pediatrics beds: 16
Located in Riverton, Utah

St. George Regional Medical Center

Number of staff: 2
Inpatient and Outpatient Child Life Services
Number of inpatient beds: 132 Pediatric beds: 12
Located in St. George, Utah

Primary Children's Outpatient Services at Riverton

Number of staff: 2
Outpatient Child Life Services Located in Riverton, Utah