What Do Pediatric Occupational Therapists Do?

What do pediatric occupational therapists do? Pediatric occupational therapists focus on helping children develop the skills they need to grow into independent, functional adults. Injures, physical impairment and a host of other issues can affect a child’s ability to progress normally through the stages of cognitive or social development or perform common tasks. 

What Do Pediatric Occupational Therapists Do?

There are various types of jobs in occupational therapy. This article outlines the role of a pediatric occupational therapist and how they help their patients’ development.

Patient Profiles

Pediatric occupational therapy can benefit a wide range of patients from children struggling to read and write to kids with ADHD and premature infants. Pediatric occupational therapy can help address the following areas:

  • Social skillsWhat Do Pediatric Occupational Therapists Do
  • Gross motor skills
  • Cognitive skills
  • Self-care skills
  • Fine motor skills

Equipment and Methods

Pediatric occupational therapists will often incorporate play into practice when working with children as a way of reducing any fears or anxiety or motivating them. Play can involve physical exercises, songs, toys, puzzles or games. Pediatric occupational therapy aims to help children adequately progress and also helps to build confidence and self-esteem and challenge them appropriately when it comes to aptitude and capabilities.

Work Setting and Salary

Pediatric occupational therapists work in environments such as private facilities that focus on pediatric care and development, hospitals, community outreach programs, schools and physical therapy clinics.

A pediatric occupational therapist will usually work 40-hour weeks, with some jobs requiring travel to different patient homes or therapy facilities. According to national statistics, the median national annual salary for an occupational therapist is about $84,000. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on years of experience, location, specialization within the field among other factors.

Certification and Training

To enter the field, a pediatric occupational therapist must typically hold a master’s degree from an accredited university and pass a national licensure exam. Most master’s degree programs in pediatric occupational therapy incorporate crucial hands-on training as part of the curriculum and take two years to complete. Beyond a national license, a therapist can also pursue voluntary certification.

Change Children’s LivesWhat Do Pediatric Occupational Therapists Do

For some people, growing into a self-sufficient adult may be easy. Others need a hand. Whether that hand helps them to gain specific physical control, speak more clearly or write better it helps them be more confident and reach maturity with strength – qualities critical to making it on their own.

How OT And Physical Therapy Differ

Although both occupational and physical therapy helps to improve kids’ quality of life, there are several differences. Physical therapy deals with gross motor functioning, endurance, joint range of motion, strength and pain, whereas occupational therapy deals more with sensory-processing deficits, cognitive skills, fine motor skills and visual-perceptual skills.

Bottom Line

There are many reasons and benefits to working as an occupational therapist. What do pediatric occupational therapists do? The short answer is that they help children with physical, cognitive or sensory disabilities to be as independent as possible in all areas of their lives. This kind of therapy can help kids with various needs to improve their motor, cognitive, sensory and physical skills, enhancing their sense of accomplishment and self-esteem. For more information, our team here at Theracare can provide you with more information. 

Reasons to Work in Pediatric Occupational Therapy 

Pediatric occupational therapists play a critical role in society as they work to enable patients in everyday meaningful activities. They come to the rescue when a child’s ability to love independently is disrupted by injury or illness. Here are some of the reasons to work in pediatric occupational therapy.

Reasons to Work in Pediatric Occupational Therapy 

This post will discuss some of the reasons you should consider working in occupational therapy. The article outlines how pediatric occupational therapists provide support and healthy tips to children, infants, toddlers and youth, as well as to their families in various settings.

Reasons to Work in Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Pediatric Occupational Therapists 

Pediatric occupational therapists have the rare opportunity to work with children to ensure the children get a good start to some of the most critical developmental stages of their lives. There’s plenty to learn about the ins and out of occupational therapy. It’s a coveted specialty that offers a fulfilling, increasingly in-demand and respected career path. Moreover, there are plenty of ways pediatric occupational therapists can impact their client’s lives.

Career Details

Pediatric occupational therapy is the type of occupational therapy that focuses on helping children develop the skills they need to grow into highly functional, independent adults. Factors that may hinder a child’s ability to develop normally vary widely, and it can at times be the occupational therapist’s duty to establish the underlying cause of delayed cognitive or social development. The therapist can then explore potential solutions and come up with a suitable therapy plan.

Compensation

Pediatric occupational therapists are well compensated for their work. According to various statistical bodies, the median annual salary for a pediatric occupational therapist is about $80,000.

Benefits

Pediatric occupational therapists have an opportunity to make a significant lasting impact on the lives of their patients. They help to instill skills that will allow children and youth to grow into successful, self-sufficient adults. They can help children with autism function better in both school and home environments.

They can also work with educational professionals to increase participation in written communication and reading.

Occupational therapists can also play a critical role in helping to address childhood obesity and identifying early signs of a mental health disorder. They often work with parents, nutritionists and teachers to provide the necessary education to enhance healthy lifestyles in children and youth.

The skills of a pediatric occupational therapist are critical since the longer a child goes without mastering certain skills, the more the problem can compound as they age. These skilled practitioners often address general developmental areas including fine motor skills, cognitive skills, social skills, self-care skills and gross motor skills.

Bottom Line

These are just some of the reasons to work in pediatric occupational therapy. Whether you’ll be working with children with obesity or a mental health disorder or lending your services to young students to improve their literacy skills, you can wake up each workday as a pediatric occupational therapist knowing that you will have an impact on someone’s life.

Benefits of Working in Occupational Therapy

Working in occupational therapy has a wide range of benefits. In addition to an attractive salary, you also get an opportunity to work with people from different age groups and get to enjoy a fulfilling career. Here are some of the benefits of working in occupational therapy.

Benefits of Working in Occupational Therapy

Benefits of Working in Occupational Therapy

This article will outline some of the most significant benefits of working in occupational therapy. We’ll consider why occupational therapy is growing in popularity, and the rewards associated with working in the industry.

Career Growth

Occupational therapy (OT) is one of the fastest-growing careers. The career is projected to see an estimated growth of 43 percent over ten years to 2024. That means that well over 30,000 OTs will be required to provide their services over a decade.

Work Settings

OTs can work in a variety of settings including:

  • Schools and Colleges 
  • Public and Private Hospitals 
  • Rehabilitation Centers 
  • Community Centers 
  • Psychiatric Centers
  • OTs Offices
  • Retirement Homes
  • Insurance Companies
  • Workplaces
  • Adult Daycare Facilities
  • Patient Homes

Demand

The demand for OTs is rising continuously. They have the highest demand in locations that have greater density and concentration of population, an increased elderly population and a higher number of healthcare facilities. OTs have an easier time finding jobs in these areas.

Learning

In the course of providing their services, OTs come across diverse populations from different personal backgrounds, languages, cultures, personalities and religion. They also work with the elderly population, adults, toddlers and kids. Working with different patients helps them to gain valuable work experience and expands their knowledge in the process. OTs also learn how to express their feelings and emotions and improve their communication skills. They often work for long periods with their patients, develop emotional attachments and strong bonds with their patients.

Rewarding Job

When patients with impairments and disabilities improve their condition and learn how to perform their everyday activities independently, the OT feels proud. Helping patients to rebuild their lives comes with a feeling of happiness and satisfaction. They help people to live meaningful, quality, productive lives, which is fulfilling.

Travel OTs

Traveling occupational therapists get plenty of traveling opportunities, attractive benefits and salaries, flexibility, free and furnished housing and opportunities to gain wider work experience.

Bottom Line

There are numerous benefits of working in Occupational Therapy. These professionals are trained to help patients learn to do the things they need to do for independent living. They work to improve patient’s motor skills or develop ways to work around the permanent loss of skills. If you would like to learn more about working in Occupational Therapy, our team here at Theracare Pediatric Services is here to answer any questions you have.

Types of Jobs in Occupational Therapy 

Occupational therapy (OT) is currently one of the most promising careers. The profession continues to grow in demand largely due to the variety of ways the skills are applied. People working in occupational therapy enjoy a rewarding salary potential and many other perks. Here are some of the types of jobs in occupational therapy.

Types of Jobs in Occupational Therapy

What are the types of jobs in occupational therapy? Some jobs can be found in the following fields: gerontology, mental health, pediatrics, physical rehabilitation and more. 

Gerontology 

Gerontology Occupational therapists work primarily with the elderly in their homes, facilities, communities or workplaces. There are a lot of professional opportunities in this field as there are plenty of reasons why the elderly need OT services that include:

  • Coping with Alzheimer’s
  • Living with arthritis
  • Driving safety 
  • Coping with low vision
  • Fall prevention for disabled or injured adults

Mental Health 

For an OT to be certified by the Mental Health Board, he/she must fully understand the effects of interaction between lifespan issues and other relevant conditions that affect occupational performance related to mental health.

This mental health certification focuses on providing mental health intervention that involves wellness as well as prevention for clients.

Most OTs with this specialty work in a hospital or home setting.

Pediatrics 

A child’s daily life will often involve activities such as learning, playing, and socializing. OTs specializing in pediatrics work with children to help them succeed in these activities. Some specific services within this certification involve:

  • Working with mental or physical disabilities
  • General functioning skills such as walking, feeding, crawling, etc.
  • Functional skills for children with autism

Physical Rehabilitation 

This certification is very broad and is obtained after working in a number of more specific OT specialties. The certification includes a significant ability to come up with and implement physical rehabilitation exercises that are client-based, evidence-based and contextually relevant to facilitate optimal occupational engagement.

Driving and Community Mobility 

This specialty focuses on practitioners enabling a client to be mobile in his/her community environment, whether it’s via public transportation, driving, school bus, walking, etc.

Specialists in this field work in several areas throughout the community such as:

Driving or riding in cars

  • Determining if patients are fit to drive.
  • Teaching teens with disabilities to drive.
  • Teaching the use of adaptive equipment.
  • Providing drive-specific rehabilitation services.

Public transit options

  • Facilitating traffic safety programs geared towards those with disabilities.
  • Training someone in a method of transportation he/she is not familiar.
  • Consulting with policymakers, city officials and transit companies to advocate for mobility-related issues.

Walking

  • Providing patient guidance on times of day and best routes.
  • Working with the city to ensure ADA compliance via textured ramps, curb-cuts, etc.

Environmental Modification

This specialty is for practitioners who modify, change or adapt the environments of a home, community, work or school. This type of work is often on an as-needed basis, making a specialist in this field somewhat of a consultant.

Bottom Line

There are plenty of other types of jobs in occupational therapy. Some of the most common include low vision, school systems, and feeding, eating and swallowing. Choosing the right specialty for you requires you to tap into your passion and make a smart education choice. Once you’ve decided on what route you want to pursue in occupational therapy, Theracare provides careers in this field that’ll help you begin helping others.

 

Healthy Tips For Kids

Adults do not require special encouragement to eat healthy food, children however need quite the encouragement. It is not always effortless to make children eat a balanced diet. That is why, when it comes to developing healthy habits for kids, it is important to start early. Here are some healthy tips for kids that every parent should take into consideration. 

Healthy Tips For Kids

Don’t Skip Breakfast

 

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it kick-starts the body and provides your kids the energy as they go through the day. Start this habit of eating breakfast at a young age, so that it will stay with them as they grow up. A simple but nutritious breakfast can definitely go a long way!

 

Eat Healthy Snacks

 

Even as adults we tend to grab unhealthy snacks when we want to nibble on something. Remember that many of these snacks, no matter how good they taste, are high in calories and low in nutrients. Why not introduce healthy food for kids such as fruits, unsalted nuts, and no-sugar yogurt?

 

Drink Water

 

Water is essential to the body. During mealtime, refrain from serving juice and sweet and carbonated drinks. Although fresh juice is also packed with nutrients, make water the go-to drink for your kids.

 

Plant Fruits and Vegetables

 

Children are picky eaters, but planting herbs and vegetables at home can help you encourage them to eat, knowing that they helped in growing what is served on the table. Growing your own fruit and vegetables is a fun way to teach kids how plants grow and where food comes from. A garden is ideal, but if your space is limited, you can use a plant box instead.

Healthy Tips For Kids

Let Your Kids Be a Part of the Process

Introduce your children into the kitchen. Let them join when you are cooking and preparing food. Kids love to be involved, and you can give them their own aprons and let them help you with small kitchen tasks to bring more fun.

 

As they grow older, why not let them prepare a meal once a week? Kids who know how to cook are more likely to to into consideration the types of food they consume.

 

Be Creative

 

Be creative in preparing food for your kids! Children are attracted first by what they see, so take advantage of the different vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables. Different colors provide different nutrients and effects to the body, so make sure to prepare different fruits and vegetables each day.

 

A colorful snack of berries, fruits, and snacks or a serving of vegetables chopped into fascinating shapes can make food look more exciting and delicious!

 

Be Patient

 

It is natural for children to not want something new during their first or second try, so do not be afraid to introduce your kids to new foods. A great tip to encourage kids to try a wide range of foods is to tell them that being adventurous in food is a sign of growing up. It may also help to take them grocery shopping and let them pick a food that they like plus a new, healthy food to try at home.

 

Common Questions

 

What should a child’s diet consist of?

Since children are growing, a healthy daily diet should be followed. Protein is essential for building tissues, and good sources include beans, eggs, lean meat, peas, poultry, seafood, soy products, and unsalted nuts. Fruits and vegetables should also be in their diet. Encourage them to eat fresh and dried fruits.

 

What can I give my child to boost the immune system?

There are a variety of ways to boost the immune system of your children. These include the following:

  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Sleeping at least 8 hours a day
  • Exercising
  • Breastfeeding your baby
  • Promoting handwashing
  • Getting rid of secondhand smoke

 

What is the healthiest lifestyle?

A healthy lifestyle is one that promotes a nutrient-packed diet and a good amount of exercise. Consume whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meat. As much as possible, avoid saturated and trans fats and use mono- and polyunsaturated fats instead.

 

Teaching kids the importance of a balanced diet can be difficult for parents, but with these healthy tips for kids the transition to a healthier diet should be easier. Keep in mind, though, that exercise is also a great part of this equation. If you would like to know more about how to keep your child healthy, the professionals at Theracare can assist you with any healthcare inquiries you may have.