Paediatric physiotherapy covers a unique range of specialisation. Contrary to the commonly known practice of physiotherapy, which is limited to adults, this specific practice extends the practice to children.
Aside from physical injuries that affect the older age cohort such as strains, sprains, joint injuries, and other issues concerning the physical recovery of an individual, physiotherapy can cover other focuses as well.
Given the unique physical structure of children, it also necessitates a unique approach to it. It is here where paediatric physiotherapists play their key role. They are experts in child development, particularly in movement.
Having adequate experience with paediatrics guarantees these practitioners a certain level of knowledge and experience with their patients. They are responsible for assessment, diagnosis, identification, and support provision for any movement or development-related matters concerning a child. Moreover, their roles as practitioners can extend to creating a personalised framework of support to each of their patients.
Here are some of the usual concerns of paediatric physiotherapists:
- Halted motor milestones for toddlers
- Unusual movement patterns
- Problems with motor skills
- Clumsy movement
- Children with disabilities that affect their development
- Children with physical congenital conditions
- Early-onset of arthritis
- Recovery for children who experienced a physical injury
- Chronic respiratory conditions that affect children
Normally, taking your children to paediatric physiotherapist may take a long time. Since a thorough assessment is needed to completely and holistically determine the condition of the child, the practitioner may spend longer and series of consultations.
Paediatric physiotherapists engage with their appointments through:
- Assessment of the overall child’s development
- Pointing out the difficulties of the child’s movement
- Creation of a program that would address any issues
It is possible as well for paediatric physiotherapists to create a proactive measure for the child that may involve the participation of the parents. Considering the malleability of the child in their pursuit of development, they may find comfort especially if their parents are participating in the development activities.
Physical issues can be addressed easily through early intervention. And it is here where the role of paediatric physiotherapists becomes relevant. The course of action they can secure and give can be a huge aspect of the child’s development in the long run.
Becoming a Paediatric Physiotherapist
Nicole Pates, a paediatric physiotherapist said that in order to be fully capable of pursuing a career, it is important to combine the care towards children and the drive for the practice.
Primarily, a paediatric physiotherapist obtains their qualification through a method known as Titling.
This training can be acquired academically or extended experiential pathways.
For the former, an Australian Master's degree in physiotherapy and an additional two years of clinical experience is necessary.
On the other hand, the acquisition of five years of clinical experience would do the thing.
Relative to other fields of physiotherapy, paediatric physiotherapy is a younger discipline yet it remains an interesting field for many physiotherapists because recent trends show that there is an increasing completion rate for the discipline.
Pates said that a paediatric physiotherapist plays a crucial role for the progressive development of a child especially when issues are obvious. Since an individualised program could be guaranteed, their expertise can be manifested as the treatment plan continues.
Although Miss Pates also recognises that many parents still do not recognise the young discipline, even its existence, the responsibility of the practitioner can be extended further.
The expanse of expertise that paediatric physiotherapists have would be important to rectify their role within the community.
Also, the immersion of the discipline with other fields of physiotherapy such as orthopaedics, rheumatology, and the likes would give new opportunities for the practitioners as well.
Despite the professional level of the practice, it is important to maintain some key characteristics in becoming a paediatric physiotherapist. Given that the children would be the client for a treatment, it is expected to maintain composure and patience throughout.
Managing the behavior of the child enthusiastically can leave a good impression, not only for the practitioner but for the general practice as well.