Internship Overview

This internship is available through a Pediatric Pulmonary training grant from the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health. As one of seven centers awarded this grant, we offer specialized education in the area of Pediatric Pulmonary care management. We recruit trainees from a range of health professions, including social work, public health, nursing, nutrition, pharmacy, and medicine.

The goal of this program is to train potential leaders in maternal and child health, specifically in pediatric pulmonary care. Trainees participate in all aspects of the center’s clinical care, education, leadership, research, policy, and advocacy. In addition, trainees attend a curriculum of courses centered on the management of pediatric pulmonary patients, interdisciplinary care, and maternal and child health. Clearly, much of the experience gained in education, leadership, and research is applicable to other specialty settings.

The faculty includes an interdisciplinary team of social workers, nurses, nutritionists, physicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, and respiratory therapists. There is a strong emphasis on family centered, community-based, interdisciplinary care.

Our program is administered by the Division of Pulmonary Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida College of Medicine, and is affiliated with the University of Florida College of Nursing. The Colleges of Medicine and Nursing are two of six colleges that, along with UF Health Shands Hospital, comprise the J. Hillis Miller Health Center, a regional tertiary medical center. This health center, located in North Central Florida, receives referrals primarily from central and western Florida and southern Georgia. This setting provides a wide range of educational opportunities that are adapted to fit the goals of the individual learner through the development of an individualized education plan. Students may choose to focus their learning activities in inpatient, outpatient, and/or community settings. They may also choose to concentrate their attention on certain populations of children with pulmonary disorders, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis.

The Pediatric Pulmonary team and the UF Health Shands Hospital staff provide a range of opportunities for the development of clinical skills. Trainees acquire specialized knowledge in the medical and psychosocial concerns of pulmonary pediatric patients and their families, and gain extensive experience with this population. They refine assessment and intervention skills, become familiar with the resources and various organizations serving this population and develop an awareness of the particular challenges, needs and coping styles of these patients.

Leadership training is an emphasis of the program. The faculty operate in a wide range of leadership roles in clinical care, administration, research, program development, policy development, case management, and education. This allows the faculty to assist students in identifying and developing their own leadership strengths.

Program Goals for all Disciplines

The program goals for all disciplines are summarized below. At the end of the internship, trainees will demonstrate competence in the following areas:

  • Clinical Care
  • Communication skills
  • Culturally sensitive care
  • Teaching and education
  • Research skills
  • Skills in public policy and inter-agency collaboration
  • Skills in administration and management
  • Communication, management and critical thinking skills necessary to assess, plan implement and evaluate care for pediatric pulmonary patients

Individualized Leadership Training

The leadership curriculum is designed for the individual. Recognizing that leadership skills and interests differ for each person, an individualized education plan is developed for each student based on their preferred area of emphasis in leadership. The individual chooses from the areas of clinical excellence, education, public policy, research, or administration. Based on this choice and available experiences at the time of study, a program is developed in collaboration with the faculty preceptor. The most frequent areas of focus are listed below:

  • Clinical skills (general or related to chosen patient population or specific setting)
  • Research
  • Development of educational resources/ distance communication
  • Development of community health management projects
  • Preparation of articles for professional publication
  • Development of teaching skills
  • Discharge and follow up of medically complex children
  • Curriculum development
  • Advocacy
  • Policy
  • Administration
  • Program development and evaluation

Core Curriculum

The core curriculum is the combined clinical and didactic aspects of the program. It provides the basic instruction regarding pulmonary diseases and their effects on patients and families, multidisciplinary care management, and leadership issues related to the specialty of pediatric pulmonology.

The didactic component of the curriculum includes seminars for two to six hours each week. Topics include interdisciplinary, family-centered and community-based care management for the primary pediatric pulmonary diseases, leadership issues, pharmacotherapeutics, and a variety of other related topics. These seminars are led by various members of the faculty, other experts in the area, and by the students of each discipline as they provide presentations on selected subjects.

The clinical component of the core curriculum occurs in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Inpatient rounds take place 3 days each week and are attended by faculty and staff of various disciplines. The intent of these rounds is to provide updates of the patient’s status and to determine details of care management. Students are encouraged to follow their own caseload of patients and to participate actively in these discussions.

The outpatient clinic takes place one to two full days each week with a review immediately following. This clinic is staffed by the entire Pediatric Pulmonary team. This experience offers the student the opportunity to both develop skills as a clinical social worker and to learn more about the skills of others on the team.

The Core Curriculum Seminar topics are listed below:

  • Service Provision Models and Systems of Care
  • The Impact of the Social, Political and Economic Environment on Health Care Delivery Systems
  • Federal, State, and Community Resources for Children with Chronic Respiratory Conditions
  • Community Needs Assessment and Program Planning
  • Health Policy: Development and Implementation
  • Organizational Administration
  • The Legislative Process and Advocacy
  • Obstacles to Health Care Delivery for Rural Populations
  • Providing Family-Centered, Culturally Competent Care
  • The Interdisciplinary Team and Leadership
  • Ethical Issues in Health Care Management
  • Researching the High rate of Morbidity among African American Children with Asthma
  • Normal Respiratory Function
  • Assessment of the Pediatric Airway and Diagnostic Tests
  • Pathophysiology of Asthma
  • Management of Asthma: Making the Plan Fit the Family
  • Interdisciplinary Approach to Treatment of Patients with Cystic Fibrosis and their Families
  • Respiratory Therapy: Considerations for Care
  • Interdisciplinary Care of Chronic Lung Disease in Infants and Children
  • Prevention and Treatment of Feeding Problems in Children with Special Health Care Needs
  • Psychosocial Issues in the Management of Children with Chronic Respiratory Conditions
  • Discharge Planning and the Use of Community Resources
  • Ethnic and Cultural Implications for the Care of Children with Special Health Care Needs

Length of Program/Stipend

The study period may occur at any time in the calendar year, however coordination with incoming students of other disciplines is optimal for the integrity of the didactic core curriculum. The student may choose a full-time or part-time internship. The length of study may vary based on the student’s goals or program requirements. Graduate and Postgraduate trainees entering an internship of at least 8 weeks of full-time study will be eligible to receive a stipend.


Should you wish to apply for the internship, please call for an application form. Upon receipt of a completed application and references either personal or phone interviews will be arranged to discuss the student’s specific interests and goals. This helps to assure the availability of resources to meet these goals.

Further information regarding the Pediatric Pulmonary Training Centers can be accessed through the PPC website.

Interview Questions

  • Dates interested in attending
  • Full/part-time
  • Graduate school status
  • Need for CEU/certification
  • Career goals
  • Goals for internship
  • Possible projects
  • Presentations
  • Preferred clinical setting
  • Outreach clinics
  • Interest in meetings (clinical, admin..)
  • Planned research during internship
  • Nursing unicore topics of interest
  • Other topics of interest
  • Details: Hours, transportation, stipend, payroll paperwork (copy of SS card, photo id, and last diploma), desk space, team members, clinical routines
  • Goals of the program
  • Housing (where, cost, transport)
  • Maps
  • Miscellaneous