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Intern Spotlight

Rachel Adams

Rachel Adams group photo

Berry senior Rachel Adams spent the Spring 2013 semester in Cincinnati getting valuable experience in the field she hopes to enter. “Child Life Specialists are  pediatric  health care professionals who work with  children, adolescents, and families in hospitals and other healthcare settings to help them cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness, and disability,” Rachel explains. “They provide children with developmentally-appropriate preparation for medical procedures,  pain management,  coping strategies, and self-expression activities. They also provide support to parents, caregivers, siblings, and other family members. CLSs try to bring play into each situation to promote effective coping and education-- I always like to say ‘play is a child's job.’”

Rachel found out about the Child Life field during her sophomore year at Berry. She performed a practicum at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, FL during the summer of 2011. While she was working there, she was told about the internship program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. “I decided to shoot for the stars,” she says. “Honestly, I never thought that I would be accepted, because I didn't come from a true Child Life degree program. I was so grateful for this opportunity to train under some of the best Child Life Specialists in the country.”  Rachel Adams bunny costume  

Rachel’s internship has exposed her to many different facets of Child Life. “I spent my first rotation working on a General Pediatrics unit, where I was able to put the theory we learn in the classroom into practice. Then, I moved to the Outpatient Clinics, where we covered about 15 clinics all over the hospital. This area challenged me to make quick decisions and build rapport with children and families in a short amount of time. The clinics are where everything ‘clicked’ and I started to feel like a true professional, not just an intern.” Rachel spent her final rotation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which is the top-rated NICU in the country. “This area has allowed me to form deep relationships with patients and their families and to be a consistent, comfortable person for them to come to with their concerns and celebrations.”   

Rachel attributes her success to the support she has had from her professors and friends at Berry, as well as her family. “Berry College pushed me to think outside of the box and to move out of my comfort zone in order to grow as a professional and as a person,” she says. “Thank you to my Berry family, for supporting me through this journey and for encouraging me to strive for more.”

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