1. You smile, dance and laugh… EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Becoming a pediatric physical therapist (PT) was hands down the best decision I have made to date. This career provides me with so much more than just being able to use my clinical judgment to evaluate and treat children and adolescents. I have always had a creative mind and pediatric PT allows me to use that side of my brain in combination with my passion for therapy. More often then not, I am spending mytime during the workday singing, swinging, jumping and sliding side-by- side with my clients. I am digging deep and assessing the root cause of motor deficits, constructing an individualized intervention program to address these deficits as well as improve overall global function. However, for my clients, it’s just another day at the playground. What could be better?!
2. You are a member of a team.
As pediatric PTs, we are very familiar with the “team approach” of therapy and rehab, meaning we work day in and day out with other medical professionals to provide the best care possible to our patients in a comprehensive way. Pediatric PTs often work alongside occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists, many times providing care to the same person. Because of this, we are able to communicate daily with one another and discuss a plan for personalized care to custom fit each and every client, because we all know that no two children are exactly alike.
3. You don’t forget about the little things in life.
Life is stressful, messy and overwhelming sometimes. At times we feel that we are in over our heads, we feel inferior because of our past and intimidated of our future. As adults, we tend to worry. However, nothing can keep you grounded like the imagination and love in a child’s heart. For example, when you get older how crucial it will be to 'live close to the important things, like therapy and Arby’s' (This was an actual quote from a client… See what I mean?).
4. You promote independence.
Developmental milestones are something so meaningful for children as well as their families, the main reason being independence. Independence gives us the ability to participate, socialize with those around us and become members of our community. Although independence does not look the same for every individual, it is important that we are providing our loved ones with the BEST opportunities to become as independent as possible. As a pediatric PT, I get the opportunity to do just that. Part of my job and one of my primary goals with every client I work with is setting them up to be as independent as they possibly can. Children will soon grow to be adults, life will change and transition and when these things happen, it is important that these changes have as little impact as possible on their ability to live their lives. As a pediatric PT, I am able to work alongside families and caregivers and develop a personalized plan to accomplish this goal, promoting independence for play and all other aspects of life.
5. This career gives you pride.
Like any career in life, there are times when I feel exhausted at the end of the day, or times when I feel like there is so much left to accomplish. Although this is a career that may leave me feeling tired at times, it also makes me joyful, motivated, thankful and encouraged. There is no better feeling in the WORLD than the feeling of watching a child or adolescent progress, learn, meet milestones and grow as an individual before your very eyes. Nothing can compare to that feeling.
Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional and mental states. - Carol Welch