Here in our office we have a wall that is our favorite wall. It is the “Wall of Credentials.” It is full of all the credentials of our therapists here, from their national licensure to their state licensure, and their specialties: SIPS which show that they are sensory integration certified, NDT certifications, and special recognition awards for courses they’ve completed in specialized areas. We also have two therapists in our occupational therapy clinic who are certified autism specialists. These various certifications cover nearly the whole wall—it’s a victorious wall!
Employees vs Contractors
When you’re looking for a place to go for therapy, it’s important that you really evaluate that clinic and how it functions. For our clinic, everyone here is an employee. No one here is a contractor. We feel this creates more of a family atmosphere, and it helps maintain continuity. It would actually be more cost-effective for us to use independent contractors. But the philosophy of our occupational therapy clinic is different. We call ourselves the Cutting Edge Family.
Many other clinics have a lot of part-time or PRN, or contracted staff. That means that they aren’t as built in to the fabric of that clinic, and they’re more available based on changes in census, which means when they’re busy and when they’re not.
It’s very important to look at who your therapist is, how long they’ve been a therapist, how long they’ve been in pediatrics, whether they have a sensory specialization, how long they’ve been with the facility they’re with, and whether they’re a permanent employee or just there on a PRN or contract basis.
You really want somebody committed. With our particular population of kiddos, having a therapist leave all of a sudden, because a job opportunity has changed or a contract has come up, can be pretty traumatic. What we like to teach here is that we’re all here, we’re all part of the family, and your kids will work with all of our therapists, because it’s just like working with the whole family. We don’t anticipate any of these folks leaving for a very, very long time, and we don’t think they anticipate leaving any time soon either! We’ve had to add to our family, because we’ve grown, and that’s an exciting thing. But we work really hard to find just the right therapists to come in here. We might go through two dozen resumes before ever even bringing in anyone to interview. It’s a very detailed process!
Make sure that when you’re shopping for a therapist, you’re a good consumer!