Pediatric physical therapy as your 1st job. Didn’t ever wondered during my PT program as I would land in a pediatric setting so early. Well, this was exciting and above all, it was a huge responsibility. I did lots of research like watching YouTube videos, reading articles, Instagram and Facebook groups, attending webinars as I just wanted to be confident enough to do an evaluation on my own the very first day.It was interesting as I was the sole PT there, thus no shadowing and observation. So, had to do everything from scratch like preparing assessment forms, mastering functional scales, etc.Believe me, I learned a lot from this and finally gained confidence. The process was not easy but definitely worth it as I learnt a lot of everything in this. There are times when you may feel like losing grip and may be low in confidence but i kept on reminding myself as I am a Licensed PT that means I have the required knowledge and I know how can I treat. Thats it, this is what you need to work.
There are some very important things I learned and would like to share with you all.

Be confident

whether it is your 1st job or working after a long gap or working in a completely different setting, having confidence is always good as it helps to build your relationship with clients and coworkers. They will ultimately believe in your work. Confidence comes with experience too so, as you treat more cases you become more comfortable and more confident. 

Doing research

It is something that you can do anytime anywhere. Using social media, reading articles, taking help from specialists who can help you to the max. Today’s world is full of technology and you can find everything on web. So, even watching interviews or cases on youtube will help you becoming familiar to answering questions that are frequently asked by patient or family. During my research, I found a number of resources helpful for pediatric physical therapy. 
  1. Facebook group Pediatric Physical Therapist in Private practice
  2. Instagram handle dinosaurphysical therapy
  3. Instagram handle starfishtherapies
  4. YouTube Pediatric Physical Therapy Exercises

A pediatric functional assessment tool

I know we all read about functional scales in our PT programs but always remember learning and implementing are two aspects. For implementation a thorough knowledge is important. I chose BOT-2 (Bruininks-Oseretsky Test -2ND Edition) test for evaluation. It is very précised and can measure gross and fine motor skills. It usually takes 40-60 min to administer. It is always best to watch videos and practice a couple times before administering it on the patient to better familiarize with each subtest.Other tests which can be used are PDMS-2 Peabody Developmental Motor Scales 2nd Edition, The Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-3) To view and buy Assessment tools- link
If you work in a company, you might not have to worry about buying these tools but if you have your company then definitely you should buy the assessment tools. 


It is always good to make a checklist before you see your clients so that you don’t miss out on anything. The checklist can include-
  1. Evaluation form
  2. Consent form
  3. Functional assessment tools (form, other instruments like a balance beam, ball, tape, etc.)
  4. Pen and notebook to write some notes if needed (or laptop/ tablet) 
  5. Goniometer



We have always learned the fact that “communication is the key”. It really is the key, whether it is with your co-workers or with your clients. Having good communication from day 1 will keep you connected with the family and achieve goals. Even if you miss out on something having good communication will take you a long way.  

Time Management

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent, and not enough time on what is important.” – Steven Covey.

Time is very crucial as when doing initial evaluations there is the possibility to take longer than usual time. So, keep an eye on the time so that you can perform the evaluation and future treatment within the assigned time range. 

You are all set for your 1st patient and even more for future ones.I hope this post about Day 1 in pediatric physical therapy would be useful to you guys and get some ease with the pediatric setting. Please share your thoughts and experience in the comments below. 
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