People don’t often think of physiotherapy when they think of pediatric care. However, it can play a huge role in treating children with a number of afflictions, such as cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, autism, and any disorder which affects motor skill development. It also plays an important role in helping children rehabilitate after an injury as well as overcoming developmental complications which may be suffered by babies born prematurely.
Many students studying for careers as physiotherapist assistants find themselves working in pediatric physiotherapy after they graduate. As dealing with children can be very different from treating adults, it’s important that programs provide students with the training necessary to meet the needs of this unique patient group.
Read on to learn four ways that physiotherapy schools help prepare students to care for children.
1. Physiotherapy Schools Teach Students to Help Children with Physical Challenges
With pediatric physiotherapy, children with a range of physical disabilities and injuries learn to maximize their independence and mobility. To help children through this process, therapeutic exercises are often incorporated with play and recreational activities, and a child’s family often plays an important part in the exercises. This helps ensure that children feel at ease and have fun while they work through difficult physical challenges.
Professionals who have a physiotherapist assistant diploma also play an important role in this process. Working alongside the physiotherapist, the physiotherapist assistant helps to conduct a thorough evaluation of the child’s physical capabilities, and develops, implements, and coordinates a specialized treatment schedule.
2. Physiotherapy Schools Teach Preventative Measures Against Injury
Physiotherapist’s offices are often quite active within their communities, working to promote physical health and teaching preventative measures against injury. For example, many children experience back and spinal problems as a result of wearing school backpacks that are poorly designed, too heavy, or not worn properly. To combat this, pediatric physiotherapy offices often work to promote good backpack habits among children. The physiotherapist assistant will often spearhead these initiatives, helping to develop the promotional material and assisting in talks to schoolchildren.
3. Physiotherapist Assistant Students Learn to Communicate With Children
Communicating with children is a gift that even those working within the field of childcare can take years to perfect. In pediatric physiotherapy, where many children often suffer from disorders which inhibit communication skills, such as autism or cerebral palsy, it can be even more difficult.
That’s why students in physiotherapist assistant training are taught about communication disorders, and learn specialized communication skills training, to help ensure that they are ready to deal with child patients face-to-face, and make them feel comfortable and understood.
4. Physiotherapy Schools Teach Hydrotherapy
Physiotherapists help children to develop and repair motor skills, strengthen core muscles and gait, and to become more independent and strong in their mobility. Another valuable technique in pediatric physiotherapy care is hydrotherapy. Patients perform muscle exercises while submerged in water, with the increased resistance and warm water temperatures aiding muscle development. Children with neurological, orthopedic and sensory issues can all benefit from hydrotherapy.
Physiotherapy schools provide a comprehensive overview of this and other therapeutic techniques to physiotherapist assistants students, allowing them to fully understand the treatments and help therapists more efficiently.
Would you like to play an important role in caring for the physical health of children?
Visit Anderson College to learn more about our physiotherapist assistant diploma program or to speak with an advisor.