This post provides detailed information on the pediatric occupational therapist job description, including key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they commonly perform. It also highlights the major requirements you may be expected to fulfill to be hired for the pediatric occupational therapist role by most recruiters/employers.
What Does a Pediatric Occupational Therapist Do?
A pediatric occupational therapist normally helps children that are prone to a range of disabilities that make them unable to carry out their daily chores.
He/she works hand-in-hand with parents and other health care providers, with a job description that entails helping in developing cognitive skills in children.
On a general note, an occupational therapist is a specialist that tries as much as possible to discover new and easier ways for individuals going through emotional, physical, or psychological (mental) trauma to overcome their problems and live a normal life.
This specialist, in addition to carrying out the aforementioned duties and responsibilities also helps the individual patient in carrying out basic chores like washing and eating.
There are four different fields in which an occupational therapist can normally specialize. These fields are pediatrics, mental health, geriatrics, and physical rehabilitation.
The pediatric occupational therapist tries as much as possible to make the child being taken care of more functional.
This is done by helping him/her to develop skills in the area of self-care and schooling.
In the process of helping children achieve their maximum potential, the therapist most times indirectly works on developing confidence, self esteem, and social skills.
He/she works closely with the child’s family, usually in their homes, schools or any other environment.
He/she also works with educational staff and health providers to ascertain the child’s areas of need and to also render help when it comes to tackling certain difficulties.
The work description of pediatric occupational therapists generally involves helping children who have issues with learning to improve their coordination, organization, and planning abilities.
They also help teachers and parents to have better understanding of their children’s capabilities.
Pediatric Occupational Therapist Job Description Example/Template
Pediatric occupational therapists perform various functions in helping children with certain difficulties.
Here are typical tasks, duties, and responsibilities that commonly make up the job description of pediatric occupational therapists:
- Provide support and advice to the child’s parents and teachers about every angle of their care that has to do with the occupational therapy needs of the child
- Adjust communication pattern to the age and level of understanding of the child. This may sometimes include no-verbal means of communication like sign language
- Attend meetings when needed to provide specialist advice as regards the functional needs of the child
- Report any defects or difficulties to the technical director
- Vigilant at all times to ensure and maintain a safe environment for the child
- Plans further treatment and review the child’s general progress
- Work closely with doctors, family members, and teachers of the child by keeping them updated on his/her progress
- Participate in multi agency working groups so as to help in the development of clinical and policy changes
- Assess the child for adaptations and use of specialist equipment when necessary
- Work within the policy that has to do with child protection procedures and training requirements
- Identify areas of improvement in the entire procedure and help in managing adaptive changes in ways through which services are rendered to the child.
Requirements – Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities – for Pediatric Occupational Therapist Role
If you are interested in working as a pediatric occupational therapist, the following are major requirements and qualifications most employers may expect you to meet to be able to access the role:
- Must possess good communication skills on all fronts. There might be need for extra communication skills like sign language and facial expressions (depending on the challenges being faced by the child in question)
- Must have good interpersonal skills. That is to say that the pediatric occupational therapist must be a people person who is always at ease and friendly when relating with people, especially with the child being cared for
- Must exhibit high levels of patience and tolerance when handling the child
- Must possess good analytical and problem-solving abilities
- Must be someone that pays keen attention to every little detail about the child. That is to say that the therapist must be aware of every relevant detail that has to do with the child’s environment and well-being in general
- Must display flexibility (especially in the case of different children). This is due to the fact that every child may not have the same difficulties, hence, might not respond to the same therapy procedure
- At least a Masters degree in occupational therapy, with a specialization in pediatrics
- A minimum of 3 years post qualification work experience in a similar role
- Must possess the necessary certification and valid license(s) to operate as a therapist.
If you are an employer needing to hire a good pediatric occupational therapist, the sample job description presented in this post can help you make a detailed one for your organization.
Creating and publishing a comprehensive description for the position, which the content of this post can help you to achieve, will certain increase your chances of finding the best candidates for the position.
Also, if you are interested in the occupational therapy career, with specialization in pediatrics, this post will help you to learn about the duties and responsibilities that constitute the career.