Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Make Best Jobs for 2012 Top 10 List

Occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech pathology are here to stay! Worried about the economy, unemployment etc.? Don’t be. According to US, which compiles a list of the best careers every year based on the Labor Department’s employment projections, you are in the right field. This year PT and OT made the top 10 list and speech pathology was close behind in the #14 spot.

Based on projections healthcare and technology jobs are growing and will continue to. Physical therapy, which was in the number 8 spot ranked high for job satisfaction, was above the average in the U.S. for pay and far below the national average for unemployment.

According to the article, “There should be a nearly 40-percent increase in available positions by 2020,” in physical therapy. “Since physical therapists often see patients overcoming adversity: Injured athletes, amputees, and stroke victims might all find themselves working with these professionals to rebuild their range of motion, coordination, and muscle strength. This profession graces our top 10 not only because of its comfortable salary and good job prospects, but because it’s also one of the faster-growing occupations of the next decade.” – US

 Occupational therapylanded the 10th spot as one of the fastest growing occupations this decade. This is due to the large scope of issues treated in this exhaustive field of therapy and the aging population. However, it’s noted “to land one of the 36,400 positions available before 2020, you’ll have needed a head start. Certified therapists must earn at least a master’s degree from an accredited university.” 

Speech-language pathologist landed in the 14th spot. The growth of the occupation isn’t quite as strong as PTs and OTs, however satisfaction level is still very good and the average unemployment rate is well below the national average. 

Want to learn more about the best jobs for 2012 and how your occupation fits in to the survey? Check it out “The Best Jobs of 2012.” 


Failure to Thrive – Feeding

Kristen Posts:

Dear ERI COMMUNITY: I am a pediatric nurse practitioner working with a child who struggles with severe oral aversion. At 18 months old she was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and failure to thrive and enrolled her in the early intervention program. She was much delayed in her gross motor skills and not walking until 19 mos. Fast forwarding to age three, she was diagnosed with Celiacs disease and we thought that was the answer to her failure to thrive and her sensory issues. A year later she didn’t grow in height and only gained a pound weighing a mere 26lbs. After a long agonizing 3 month decision with the GI team we placed a gtube. All this time her family, doctors, and therapists seemed to miss her oral aversion focusing on her delayed grossed motor skills. So today at age 5 she maybe orally eats a select few foods and relies on gtube feeds to keep her alive. Everyday is a struggle to get her to eat and “just take one bite”. What are your experiences with these children in their teen and adult years? What percentage out grow this problem? What have you found to be the most successful treatments? Thanks for all your help.


How to Wrap-up Your In-Service.

Leaving your colleagues inspired and wanting for more information can be a challenge.

In your final comments, repeat your main points.  Tell your colleagues how they can obtain further and more in-depth information.  If you are so inclined, invite them to observe you treating a patient using this new information or offer to consult on one of their challenging patients.

Don’t forget to share reference materials that colleagues may need to provide evidence and support for this clinical approach.

Good luck! 

Feel free to post any specific questions you may have as you pull together an effective in-service for your colleagues. 


10 words to Use to Enhance your In-Service Presentation to your Therapy Department…..

Use emotion words and logic words. 

Use some of these words if they are appropriate to your content and comfortable for you:  

Emotion words such as instinct, felt, reaction, sense, confident. These words are most helpful in describing clinical situations or patient responses.             

Logic words such as research, study, evidence, substantiate, proof. It goes without saying that these words are used to support the theoretical framework or approach that you are presenting.

I hope that you are feeling more confident by now.

Stay tuned; next time we’ll be talking about how to bring your in-service to a thoughtful and inspiring conclusion.


Therapy Tip: Autism and Feeding

Jennifer Posts:

DEAR ERI COMMUNITY: Tip for OT’s working on feeding:
I recently attended a conference on Autism and an amazing OT & DO, Paula Aquilla was one of the presenters. She shared many techniques she has tried, but one that has really worked for me is a feeding game. You begin by making a die with words such as lick, kiss, smell, touch, look, etc. We have a pile of cards with pictures of foods we are exploring that day; we used the PEC images with the word underneath. We take turns rolling the die and picking a card from the top of the pile. We both follow the directions on the die matched with our card and we maintain a very non threatening environment. This patient has begun trying food at home. I have my fingers crossed but so far this has worked for us!