Pediatric occupational therapists' duties revolve around patient care, helping improve the physical, cognitive, and motor skills of pediatric patients. These responsibilities begin with the examination and evaluation of patients seeking care. This leads to the development of a treatment plan, in which options and rationale must be communicated with patients and their parents/guardians, and the provision of appropriate therapy services, All of this must be performed while keeping medical records and adhering to legal and institutional policies.
Pediatric occupational therapists must have excellent communication skills to work with pediatric patients and their families. Individuals in this position must also work well with other therapists and support staff, and they generally work
under supervision from a team manager. Work is generally limited to an indoor environment, typically a hospital or office; there are typically minimal physical requirements such as moving around the office, lifting up to 25 pounds, and using hands or fingers to conduct necessary examinations. Exposure to sick patients and other medical situations may occur, but risk is generally considered minimal.
Positions as a pediatric occupational therapist often come in different levels of required experience and pay. Educational requirements include completion of an accredited bachelor's program in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and another closely related field. Required Experience will depend upon desired level and openings, but a minimum of one to two years of experience in the pediatric field and healthcare is the general basic standard. In addition to this, each state has different requirements for licensing to conduct each form of therapy within its borders.
Pediatric Occupational Therapist Tasks
Test and evaluate patients' physical and mental abilities and analyze medical data to determine rehabilitation goals for patient.
Help clients improve decision making, abstract reasoning, memory, sequencing, coordination and perceptual skills using computer programs.
Select and recommend activities that will help individuals learn work and life-management skills consistent with their needs and capabilities.
Consult with rehabilitation team to select activity programs and coordinate with other therapeutic activities.
Record prognosis, treatment, response and progress in patient's chart or computer database.