The goal of a pediatric physical therapist is to help children and adolescents improve their mobility. They help children and adolescents with prosthetic limbs, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, muscular challenges, injuries, or surgical challenges improve their motor skills, muscular strength, and coordination. A college degree and postgraduate training are usually required if you want to work as a pediatric physical therapist.
Graduate physical therapy programs have different preferences for undergraduate majors from applicants. Some graduate programs accept students with any undergraduate major, while others prefer students with specific majors. As a result, if you want to work as a pediatric physical therapist after college, you should check with the specific graduate physical therapy programs you’re interested in.
In general, whatever subject you decide to major in during college, you will be required to take specific courses. For example, you’ll need to take chemistry, biology, physics, anatomy, physiology, and statistics to meet the application requirements for most graduate physical therapy programs. Keep in mind that physical therapy is a highly competitive profession. As a result, getting good grades can help you impress prospective graduate physical therapy programs demonstrating that you have the learning ability and stamina to successfully complete graduate training.
If you want to work as a pediatric physical therapist, you’ll probably go to graduate school right after you finish your bachelor’s degree. Anyone interested in becoming a pediatric physical therapist should pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree in physical therapy. The doctorate will not only provide you with the skills you need to work as a physical therapist, but it will also allow you to gain research experience, which will be useful if you decide to become a college professor later in your career.
After completing your education, you must pass a physical therapy licensure exam known as the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in order to apply to the licensing board in the area where you want to work. After that, as a practicing physical therapist, you’ll have the option of working with children in hospitals or at home. You could, on the other hand, work in rehabilitation centers, osteopathic clinics, or other medical settings with children who require physical therapy.
If you want to work as a pediatric physical therapist, keep in mind that having good social skills is just as important as having adequate physical therapy skills. Pediatric physical therapists work with children and must communicate with their parents and other family members as the child undergoes physical therapy. As a result, a pediatric physical therapist must have a personality that is patient and encouraging to children during physical therapy sessions but firm, professional, and no-nonsense when speaking with parents, doctors, or other service providers. To be sure, if you have the necessary academic skills and personality traits, becoming a pediatric physical therapist may be a good fit for you.