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Ask PediaStaff: What About Early Intervention Jobs for New Grads?

Question:   “I am a new graduate OT and would love to work with babies.  A friend of mine told me I should wait a couple of years before looking for an early intervention (EI) position in the child’s natural environment.  What do you think?

Answer:  You have a wise friend – and depending on the organization you work for, she may be correct.  Many EI jobs will not have the mentorship and support you need.   In general, EI in the natural setting, just like working in a Skilled Nursing Facility – is a solitary work environment, and  generally requires a level of independence that is not ideal for a new graduate therapist.   Even if you know your stuff inside and out, it is very smart to find an employment situation where you have access to other therapists on a regular basis who you can consult with regularly, and  in person.  

That said, the above answer refers to a generality.   If you ask the right questions, and choose the right employer, you may find an EI model that DOES support ample professional communication.   If you really want to work in a natural setting, make sure you ask plenty of questions to ensure that real-time support is available.   Parents ask a lot of questions, and experience is the best confidence builder when answering those questions!

Or, try to find yourself a pediatric outpatient facility that sees Medicaid patients in-house to start with, before branching out to the home.     Then you can have the best of both worlds – babies AND daily supervision/mentorship!!n.   

PediaStaff hires pediatric and school-based professionals nationwide for contract assignments of 2 to 12 months. We also help clinics, hospitals, schools, and home health agencies to find and hire these professionals directly. We work with Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical Therapists, School Psychologists, and others in pediatric therapy and education.


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