Play It Forward Therapy

The New Reality of Pediatric Occupational Therapy

ATTENTION  to all pediatric therapists!  The time has come my friends, to accept our new reality that telehealth is here to stay!  How does that fact make you feel?

If you’re feeling anxious about telehealth or even a sense of loss if you’ve been laid off,  you’re not alone.  This pandemic has been extremely tough on everyone, and I guarantee that you’ll be faced with some pretty tough decisions ahead of you.

Did you ever read those Choose Your Own Adventure Books as a kid?  There was always a pivotal point in the story when the main character had to make a choice which led to 1.) a fantastic adventure with an awesome ending or  2.) an adventure with an unfortunate ending. Fiction aside, the reality is, you have three choices when it comes to telehealth.  And the choice you make will not only impact your own career, it will affect the lives of kids who are in great need of your OT services.  It’s the same whether you’re working in school based practice, early intervention or outpatient practice… we all have kids that need our help.
You’ve got 3 choices.  Choose one (wisely) below.

#1.  Perish: You decide to close your practice or stop working.

#2.  Plateau:  Your practice holds steady, but doesn’t experience any growth and eventually is at risk of closing over time through attrition or another surge in the pandemic.

#3.  Pivot, progress and prosper: You’ve chosen to keep an open mind and are ready for a new adventure.
  • You learn all that you can about telehealth and set up systems to run a successful telehealth practice.
  • You become more comfortable and confident in your telehealth skills, and you see this translating to progress and improved outcomes in your clients.
  • Your students, clients and families take notice that teletherapy is truly making a positive difference in their daily lives.
  • Your referral sources are happy to refer you new clients because they’ve taken notice that virtual therapy sessions can be just as effective as in person sessions.

As a pediatric therapist, there is hope that your career can flourish as long as you’re willing to grow. If you have an open mind and are willing to pivot your practice, telehealth can be the beginning of a renewed and fruitful career for you.

Now is the time to accept this new reality and that the new normal part of your work day includes adding telehealth to your therapy toolbox.

With the right continuing education and training, an open attitude and a little practice, I guarantee you, that your OT practice will not only survive… it can thrive.

Think back to the time that you decided to become a pediatric therapist… who was the child that gave you that inspiration? Whether you’re a new grad or a seasoned occupational therapist, your expertise and talent can extend beyond the walls of your brick and mortar building.

The online OT world is waiting for YOU to make an impact.   With so many practices shut down and schools closed for in person classes, children are isolated from their usual social networks and supports.  In other words, you are needed now more than ever before.