Practicing as a pediatric physical therapist (PT) requires a range of specialized skills and intentional interventions in your therapy caseload. At Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS), we place the physical therapists who work alongside us in our partnering school districts.
Before you apply for a school-based position, you can begin to build your career path and become the most effective school-based PT you can be.
The Path to Pediatric Physical Therapy
Every person’s career path looks different, especially when it comes to pediatric care. If you want to be a school-based PT, you’ll need to meet a few requirements to develop and strengthen your skills:
Education is a key part of becoming an effective PT. As an undergraduate student, choosing a major relevant to PT, such as physiology or exercise science, can provide a solid foundation for your career. As you move into higher education with a graduate program or a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, these skills will become more focused on pediatric PT.
When choosing a physical therapy program, make sure it has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Clinical experience is an important part of your education. By dedicating the time to engage in real-world situations, you’ll learn from examples and shape your abilities as a PT. Most positions require a number of clinical fieldwork hours.
You can apply for a school-based fieldwork position alongside PTS. We have a network of partnering universities and supervising clinicians to support students. Contact your fieldwork coordinator to learn more about fieldwork opportunities with us.
Every PT must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in order to provide services. This exam reviews the skills and practices taught throughout your physical therapy education. Before applying to take your exam, it’s a good idea to review your class notes, study guides, and other resources provided by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).
Physical Therapy in the Classroom
After completing your education, fieldwork experience, and the NPTE, you can bring your skills to the classroom and begin practicing as a pediatric PT.
To be an effective school-based PT, you’ll need to have a manageable caseload that allows you to treat the students who need it. Fortunately, with PTS’s Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) approach, ensuring that the right students receive the right support is our priority. With three tiers of classroom-wide, small-group, and individual interventions, we support both the students and our PTs.
Physical therapy requires reliable communication and coordination between the student’s school, parents, and other administrators or caregivers. At PTS, we continually support the providers who engage with us by going to school with you, so we can facilitate communications and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Apply as a School-Based PT Today
Part of building your career as a pediatric PT is ensuring that you are set up for success with a strong education and supportive resources. If you’re ready to build your career as an effective school-based PT, you can apply to work alongside PTS at one of our partnering districts.