Pediatric physical therapists are specialized in improving the lives as well as the everyday tasks of children who suffer from a vast range of injuries and congenital disorders. Their primary duty is to aid the child and their family to help each child to reach their optimum potential to work independently and to encourage active engagement at home, in school, as well as in the community. Other responsibilities include assessing and providing treatment for impediments in motor skills as well as evaluating the child's strength, posture, flexibility, pace, coordination, balance, and sensory processing. Additionally, they are trained to examine the motor progress using specification testing for age equivalents.

Pediatric Physical Therapist Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real pediatric physical therapist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Achieve high level of patients satisfaction due to sound clinical management, quality of care and compassion.
  • Experience in administering modalities including: NMES, IFC, iontophoresis, ultrasound, and cervical traction.
  • Evaluate and write letters of necessity to obtain adaptive equipment including: mobility devices, adaptive seating device and positioning devices.
  • Start OT career at Eisenhower as regular staff OTR; continue to work often as long-term/temporary OTR.
  • Evaluate patients in medical and surgical ICU and provide ROM and ambulation exercises and prepare them for the discharge.
  • Educate patients on performing daily living activities and the use of supportive equipment such as crutches, wheelchairs and canes.
  • Participate in wound-care treatment and help patients adapt to the use of wheelchairs, braces, canes, crutches and walker.
  • Evaluate and treat patients on the acute floors including orthopedic, cardiac, pulmonary, ICU, and general surgery floors.
  • Complete rehabilitation sections of MDS.
  • Demonstrate excellent initiative and professional development skills as per CI report.
  • Facilitate the rehabilitation and attainment of developmental milestones of children in an out-patient setting.
  • Perform seating and positioning evaluations; ADL and transfer training; energy conservation/work simplification education.
  • Evaluate and treat patients with developmental disabilities in ICF and residential institution with children and adults.
  • Work collaboratively with other physical therapists, PTAs, occupational therapists, physicians, and medical technicians.
  • Perform all administrative duties for the rehabilitation department including mandate MDS assessments in compliance with Medicare/Medicaid requirements.

Pediatric Physical Therapist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 25% of Pediatric Physical Therapists are proficient in Patients, Patient Care, and Rehabilitation. They’re also known for soft skills such as Detail oriented, Dexterity, and Physical stamina.

We break down the percentage of Pediatric Physical Therapists that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Patients, 25%

    Developed appropriate treatment plans and educated patients and family members on appropriate home exercise programs and lifestyle changes.

  • Patient Care, 12%

    Earned reputation for excellence in patient care.

  • Rehabilitation, 9%

    Provided mentorship to new pediatric physical therapists with emphasis specialty in pre- and post- operative rehabilitation techniques.

  • Autism, 6%

    Implemented Occupational Therapy evaluations and services to children with special needs including autism, development disabilities, and emotional disorders.

  • Home Health, 6%

    Treated patients as an occupational therapist in acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, outpatient, and home health settings

  • Physical Therapy, 4%

    Provide physical therapy interventions to children with severe disabilities and compromised health status, in an educational setting.

Some of the skills we found on pediatric physical therapist resumes included "patients," "patient care," and "rehabilitation." We have detailed the most important pediatric physical therapist responsibilities below.

  • Detail oriented can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a pediatric physical therapist to have. According to a pediatric physical therapist resume, "like other healthcare providers, physical therapists should have strong analytic and observational skills to diagnose a patient’s problem, evaluate treatments, and provide safe, effective care." Pediatric physical therapists are able to use detail oriented in the following example we gathered from a resume: "detail oriented documentation of client progress, home therapy plans, and discharge summaries. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling pediatric physical therapist duties is dexterity. According to a pediatric physical therapist resume, "physical therapists must use their hands to provide manual therapy and therapeutic exercises." Here's an example of how pediatric physical therapists are able to utilize dexterity: "performed evaluations, established careplans and provided hands-on treatment within an acute care and outpatient environment. "
  • Physical stamina is also an important skill for pediatric physical therapists to have. This example of how pediatric physical therapists use this skill comes from a pediatric physical therapist resume, "physical therapists spend much of their time on their feet, moving as they demonstrate proper techniques and help patients perform exercises" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "performed evaluations for two physical therapy assistants and offered guidance and therapeutic suggestions through monthly supervisory visits with each of their patients"
  • A pediatric physical therapist responsibilities sometimes require "compassion." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "physical therapists are often drawn to the profession in part by a desire to help people" This resume example shows how this skill is used by pediatric physical therapists: "demonstrate empathy, concern, good listening skills, and compassion for all patients. "
  • Yet another important skill that a pediatric physical therapist must demonstrate is "interpersonal skills." Because physical therapists spend a lot of time interacting with patients, they should enjoy working with people This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a pediatric physical therapist who stated: "developed excellent interpersonal relationship building skills through interacting with and providing support to patients. "
  • See the full list of pediatric physical therapist skills.

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    What Child Life Therapists Do

    A therapist is responsible for improving the patients' health conditions by evaluating their needs and providing physical and mental support. Therapists are licensed, medical professionals who specialize in different areas to perform treatments and bring relief to patients. Some of their duties include diagnosing patient's problems, performing counseling services, monitoring medication progress, customizing therapy activities for pain management, and consulting other health professionals as needed. Therapists must have extensive knowledge with the medical industry to detect patients' conditions easily and provide effective medications.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take child life therapist for example. On average, the child life therapists annual salary is $24,931 lower than what pediatric physical therapists make on average every year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both pediatric physical therapists and child life therapists positions are skilled in patients, rehabilitation, and autism.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a pediatric physical therapist responsibility requires skills such as "patient care," "home health," "early intervention," and "kids." Whereas a child life therapist is skilled in "direct care," "therapeutic recreation," "emotional support," and "cpr." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    The education levels that child life therapists earn is a bit different than that of pediatric physical therapists. In particular, child life therapists are 4.2% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a pediatric physical therapist. Additionally, they're 27.5% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Manipulative Therapy Specialist?

    An in-home therapist provides case management, counseling, resource system development, support system development, and crisis intervention services for family members and children. They provide goal-oriented and structured therapy on referral issues for families that help recover from neglect, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, or physical abuse. Also, they provide time-limited, goal-oriented, and structured therapy in the families' natural environment for families that need help to recover from neglect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and physical abuse.

    The next role we're going to look at is the manipulative therapy specialist profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $26,449 lower salary than pediatric physical therapists per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both pediatric physical therapists and manipulative therapy specialists are known to have skills such as "patients," "patient care," and "rehabilitation. "

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, pediatric physical therapist responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "autism," "home health," "physical therapy," and "kids." Meanwhile, a manipulative therapy specialist might be skilled in areas such as "gmp," "t-cell," "cell processing," and "clinical trials." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    Manipulative therapy specialists may earn a lower salary than pediatric physical therapists, but manipulative therapy specialists earn the most pay in the education industry with an average salary of $51,149. On the other side of things, pediatric physical therapists receive higher paychecks in the professional industry where they earn an average of $79,534.

    On the topic of education, manipulative therapy specialists earn lower levels of education than pediatric physical therapists. In general, they're 5.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 27.5% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Therapist Compares

    The therapist profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of pediatric physical therapists. The difference in salaries is therapists making $19,756 lower than pediatric physical therapists.

    By looking over several pediatric physical therapists and therapists resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "patients," "patient care," and "rehabilitation." But beyond that the careers look very different.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from pediatric physical therapist resumes include skills like "home health," "physical therapy," "kids," and "treatment programs," whereas a therapist might be skilled in "group therapy sessions," "crisis intervention," "mental health," and "therapeutic services. "

    Therapists make a very good living in the government industry with an average annual salary of $55,972. Whereas pediatric physical therapists are paid the highest salary in the professional industry with the average being $79,534.

    Therapists are known to earn higher educational levels when compared to pediatric physical therapists. Additionally, they're 24.9% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 25.5% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of an In Home Therapist

    In home therapists tend to earn a lower pay than pediatric physical therapists by about $23,993 per year.

    While their salaries may vary, pediatric physical therapists and in home therapists both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "patients," "autism," and "early intervention. "

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "patient care," "rehabilitation," "home health," and "physical therapy" are skills that have shown up on pediatric physical therapists resumes. Additionally, in home therapist uses skills like community agencies, substance abuse, group therapy, and mental health on their resumes.

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The government industry tends to pay more for in home therapists with an average of $52,546. While the highest pediatric physical therapist annual salary comes from the professional industry.

    The average resume of in home therapists showed that they earn higher levels of education to pediatric physical therapists. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 25.1% more. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 25.9%.