The internship program at Hospice of Palm Beach County provides many unique learning opportunities for music therapy students. We currently provide a six-month, 1040-hour clinical placement to six interns per year, starting in February, June, and October. Hospice of Palm Beach County is a National Roster internship site and students from any AMTA-member university may apply.
Our internship includes opportunities to work in homes, nursing facilities, hospitals, inpatient units, and our bereavement center. Interns begin their experience with an extensive orientation that provides training in the hospice concept and medical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of hospice care. Interns spend time in the field with each clinical discipline and also have the opportunity to shadow each of our 10 music therapists. Once orientation is complete, the intern begins to work closely with his/her Internship Director and Field Supervisor. The intern begins by coleading sessions and eventually develops a caseload of his/her own. Treatment typically involves individual sessions with a patient, although it is common for family and other team members to be present.
At Hospice of Palm Beach County, we offer many opportunities for supervision and professional development. Along with clinical hours, the intern has formal supervision on a weekly basis. The intern attends interdisciplinary team meetings and music therapy department meetings, providing opportunities to learn from and collaborate with other professionals. The music therapy department at Hospice of Palm Beach County is committed to the continuing education of the staff and intern, and there are numerous opportunities to attend trainings on topics such as Medical Spanish, Alzheimer’s Disease, Advanced Directives, along with special music therapy Technique Talks, and Skills Labs.
The clinical experiences of the intern are complemented by a series of assignments designed to further the student’s theoretical and practical application of music therapy. Interns are provided with individual coaching in counseling skills, music skills, and professional issues. A detailed case study is also an integral part of the internship experience.The most important aspect of the music therapy internship at Hospice of Palm Beach County is the individualized approach we take with each student. The Internship Director maintains close contact with the intern’s university and develops an individualized contract for the internship. The wide range of services Hospice of Palm Beach County offers and the large size of the music therapy department allows the intern to have input into which experiences he/she would most like to focus on. Evaluations are provided on a monthly basis, and from those assessments monthly competency goals are developed to help the student reach all of the necessary milestones for completing his/her music therapy education.