If you have been thinking about an occupational therapists position in the pediatric field, you may wonder what it’s all about. You may also have questions about what sort of training you need in order to become a pediatric occupational therapist. This field is one of the most rewarding line of work in the world of medicine. In a nutshell, you will work to develop and execute a program of occupational therapy techniques specifically designed to treat children, including infants and toddlers.
The Job Defined
Children, infants, and toddlers often need the assistance of a pediatric occupational therapist to address problems in several critical developmental areas. These areas include:
- motor skills
In addition to physical issues, those with an occupational therapist position may be called on to assist children with problems in the area of cognition or social development.
The Driving Need
Children are often presented with a wide range of disorders or issues that require the help of a trained therapist. Some of the problems you may be confronted with are:
- motor limitations
- eating disorders
- developmental delays
- muscular dystrophy
- metabolic disorders
- sensory integration disorders
- spinal cord issues
- failure to thrive
- neurological disorders
When dealing with children, occupational therapists typically turn to play to make the therapy sessions easier. Games are often a fun way to make difficult or painful therapy sessions easier.
While it is not necessary to get a doctorate in order to obtain an occupational therapy position, education is needed to land the job. This typically amounts to a bachelor’s degree. Classes include anatomy, neurology, and psychology. You will also learn to observe patients, participate in case studies, and learn how to integrate play into your occupational therapy plan.
Where To Work
For those who opt to work as a pediatric occupational therapist, there are a variety of places to look for a position. You will often work in a hospital, a clinic, or a private institution. There are several other options including rehabilitation centers, doctor’s offices, and even schools. You may work with patients on a daily basis or less, depending on the specific needs of the child you’re handling.
As a pediatric occupational therapist you can impact the lives of the children you work with. From a child that suffered a traumatic injury to one who is simply developmentally delayed, there are a wide range of conditions that are often improved by working with an occupational therapist. In as little as three years you can begin your exciting career and start making a difference.