Child Life Specialist

Requisition ID
Employment Type
Part Time
Hours / Pay Period
Standard Hours
Facility / Process Level : Name
MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center


CommonSpirit Health was formed by the alignment of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) and Dignity Health. With more than 700 care sites across the U.S. & from clinics and hospitals to home-based care and virtual care services CommonSpirit is accessible to nearly one out of every four U.S. residents. Our world needs compassion like never before. Our communities need caring and our families need protection. With our combined resources CommonSpirit is committed to building healthy communities advocating for those who are poor and vulnerable and innovating how and where healing can happen both inside our hospitals and out in the community.



Responsible for promoting a positive hospital experience for children and families by fostering normal development, through education, preparation, play, advocacy and psychosocial support. Communicates assessments, concerns and interventions with multi-disciplines.  Oversees child life practicum students, interns, job shadows and patient support volunteers.





  • Understands and utilizes evidence based practice concepts, including play, preparation and assessment.
  • Observes and assesses the needs and concerns of children and families receiving services at Mercy. Prepares the children and families for medical procedures.
  • Provides activities and interventions to help children and families cope with the medical situations and meet their developmental, emotional and educational needs, on an individual and group basis.
  • Participates in interdisciplinary and/or departmental team meetings and communicates developmental and psychosocial needs of children.
  • Accurately documents and charts interactions with patients.
  • Works as an advocate for patients and families within the medical setting.
  • Manages supplies and space in playrooms, activity rooms and supply rooms.
  • Oversees cleaning of playrooms according to departmental and institutional  
  • Oversees volunteers in the department/unit, who work with children.
  • Provides in-services for department/unit staff and fellow child life staff on an as needed basis.
  • Assist with special events hosted by the department/unit, or the child life specialist group.
  • Serves as a resource in area of child development and psychosocial needs and collaborates with other disciplines.



  • Bachelor degree in Child Life, Child Development, or related field required.
  • Completion of child life internship (480 hours) or clinical child life experience.
  • Certification by Committee of Child Life Council required within two years of hire date.
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) for the Healthcare Provider certified or obtained within three (3) months of hire.
  • Proof of completion of Mandatory Reporter abuse training specific to population served within three (3) months of hire.


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