As a pediatric therapist, you can choose to work in several environments, including clinical and school settings. At Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS), we place service providers into our partnering school districts.
Many of the therapists who engage with us began in a clinical setting but ultimately found their fit in a school environment. Why do so many pediatric therapists make this switch? Find out below.
1. Dynamic schedule and work environment
In a clinical setting, therapists typically conduct sessions at set times throughout the week. In a school environment, though, therapists regularly adjust their schedules, including changing the dates, times, and locations of their sessions to accommodate school meetings and events. Many providers feel energized by this dynamic schedule.
School-based therapists also tend to work within typical school hours and have the option to work over the summer during the Extended School Year (ESY) or take those months off. This can help therapists achieve the work-life balance that suits them best.
2. Access to support when needed
School-based therapists have the autonomy to choose how they conduct their sessions while working both independently and in teams. When engaging with PTS, therapists also have access to a library of clinician-developed resources and support from Clinical Directors whenever they need it—the best of both worlds between independence and support.
Clinical-based therapists generally work alone without access to these additional resources and support structures.
3. Collaborating with a cross-disciplinary team every day
In a school setting, therapists collaborate and coordinate with a cross-disciplinary team, including:
- School administrators
- Teachers, aides, and paraprofessionals
- Service providers from various disciplines
This team-based approach gives therapists the opportunity to learn from professionals in other disciplines to better ensure each student can access their education. In comparison, in a clinical setting, therapists are typically more siloed in their field with limited collaboration with doctors, clinicians, and insurance providers.
4. Greater variety
School-based therapists often work with multiple age groups across several schools. This offers a lot of day-to-day variety. In addition to providing 1-on-1 therapy sessions, they may also lead or teach others to facilitate small group and classroom-wide interventions that address common concerns, such as pencil grip.
In a school setting, therapists have additional responsibilities, too, like writing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and serving on IEP teams. Along with that, school-based therapists conduct student assessments to determine who is eligible for therapy, including completing documentation and adhering to special education compliance.
In contrast, clinical-based therapists do not have as wide a variety of tasks throughout the day.
5. Helping students succeed scholastically is rewarding
School-based therapists are focused on helping ensure that students can fully access their education, so they can succeed scholastically, socially, and beyond. Watching students achieve meaningful milestones and advance in their development is incredibly rewarding and one of the top reasons therapists love working in schools.
Since school-based therapists provide sessions in the school environment, they see these achievements in an environment students navigate every day. Clinical-based therapists, on the other hand, conduct therapy sessions in a space removed from the child’s daily life.
Start Transitioning from Clinical to School-Based Pediatric Therapy Today
Does working as a school-based pediatric therapist sound appealing to you? To learn more about working alongside us, download our free eBook, Top 5 Reasons to Join PTS as An Independent Contractor.
If you feel ready to make the switch from pediatric therapy in a clinic to a school-based setting, we want to hear from you! Contact us at PTS with any questions or search through the current opportunities on our website.