How to Become a Pediatric Therapist

Pediatric Therapists specialize in providing physical therapy services to children.

These professionals should be accustomed to and enjoy working with young patients in a variety of settings.

Pediatric Therapists can provide their services to their patients in either an outpatient or inpatient setting.

For outpatient visits, Pediatric Therapists often visit their patients at their home.

A Pediatric Therapist is a professional who has met all the requirements under an Occupational Therapy specialty.

There is a specific route a candidate needs to take in order to become a Pediatric Therapist that includes securing licensure.

A Pediatric Therapist’s goal is to improve the health of an infant, child or adolescent and may sometimes work in conjunction with a Pediatrician or other licensed professional.

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These professionals will work with children that may have a condition that prevents them from doing things that are considered ordinary.

Pediatric Therapists can work with child patients who have been diagnosed with the following disorders:

  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Torticollis
  • Spina Bifida
  • Developmental delays

Those who want to become a Pediatric Therapist need natural skills such as working with children and their parents and great communication skills.

These professionals also need to be trained and educated regarding the skeletal and muscular systems.

The educational route that a potential Pediatric must take is outlined below.

Education Requirements to Become a Pediatric Therapist

In order to become a Pediatric Therapist, candidates need to attend an accredited college institution to earn a Bachelor’s then a Master’s degree.

The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) accredits over 293 Occupational Therapy programs.

Visit their website to learn more information about their accredited programs: ACOTE Accredited Programs.

After completing an accredited program, candidates need to take and pass a national licensure exam in order to work in this field.

Students should focus their undergraduate careers on majors such as Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, Anatomy or Biology.

Students should gain an understanding of the human body and grasp basic concepts regarding diseases or disorders.

After completion of a Bachelor’s degree, candidates can start applying to programs accredited by ACOTE.

During their time in a Master’s program, students should choose their focus in Pediatric Therapy where they will learn many techniques and practices to implement in their practice.

Pediatric Therapists must be licensed in order to work in their field.

A national license exam is available through the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy NBCOT.

Visiting their website will give students detailed information regarding services they provide.

Pediatric Therapist Job Description

A Pediatric Therapist can treat their patients as either outpatients or inpatients.

Depending on the organization they work for, a Pediatric Therapist can treat their patients at either an inpatient facility, such as a clinic or as outpatients.

Home health care companies provide services that require a Pediatric Therapist to visit a patient’s home in order to treat them.

A Pediatric Therapist can work with many children who have different symptoms and disorders.

They can also work with children who have been in an accident or have gone through surgery and need specialized treatment to help them improve.

A Pediatric Therapist will be responsible for learning about new patients and creating a treatment plan that will help a child become more mobile.

For established patients, they will follow an established plan and make adjustment depending on the patient’s progress.

Additionally, Pediatric Therapists will collaborate with a patient’s primary doctor or involved medical personnel in order to determine the best treatment and communicate progress or problems.

They may also establish relationships with parents and keep them updated on a young patient’s progress.

Pediatric Therapist Salary and Career Path

The employment rate for all Occupational Therapists looks strong through the year 2018.

Although Occupational Therapists specializing in treating the elderly is the fastest growing specialty, Pediatric Therapists should expect a healthy job market.

In addition, Occupational Therapists are increasingly required to take on more responsibilities such as supervising their aides and assistants.

They can excel in their field by managing colleagues or taking on administrative duties.

The national median wage for all Occupational Therapists is approximately $66,700 annually.

The salary range for this occupation begins at approximately $42,800 to $98,300 depending on the specialty and industry.

Professionals who work in a school setting earn less than a therapist who works for a home health care service organization.

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