Huntington University is a Christian liberal arts college in Indiana

Working with children prepares one student

Laura Hustedt-small

“Realizing how so many of my classes at Huntington take a part in what I do at the hospital has been exciting."

Huntington University’s Enterprise Resource Center placed Laura Hustedt in her practicum at Parkview Hospital and in her internship with Lutheran Children’s Hospital, both in Fort Wayne, Ind. These two opportunities allowed her to experience the work of a child life specialist, a position she first became interested in after taking a skills test on the university’s student development website.

Hustedt, a senior at the time from Martinton, Ill., majored in recreation management with a concentration in recreation therapy. She completed her practicum at Parkview in January 2008 and her internship in the summer of 2008.

As an intern at Lutheran Children’s Hospital, Hustedt performed many of the same duties as a child life specialist, working with doctors, nurses and parents to help children feel more comfortable and cope with a stay in the hospital. She spent a great deal of time with her patients and provided coping, play and distraction therapies for them. In addition, Hustedt offered different forms of recreation to her patients, working hard to make the hospital environment less stressful for them.

While completing her practicum at Parkview, Hustedt performed similar duties to that of a CLS. In addition, she supervised therapeutic play, maintained the pediatric unit and restocked patient comfort kits, book carts and treasure chests around the hospital.

Hustedt gained experience in public relations, as well. She gave tours, worked with the media and coordinated volunteers and donations.

“Realizing how so many of my classes at Huntington take a part in what I do at the hospital has been exciting,” said Hustedt. Her therapeutic recreation courses and psychology courses were especially helpful in adjusting her perceptions toward people with disabilities and in understanding how children communicate the issues they are trying to cope with through play.

Hustedt’s experiences helped her plan for her future, hopefully working with cancer camps, surgery or autistic patients.

The Enterprise Resource Center at Huntington University – we’re all about pairing Huntington University students with area businesses for internships, practicum experiences, class projects and special projects.