A master’s degree in occupational therapy from an accredited university or college is required for people who want to become occupational therapists. Patients with a physical, mental, emotional, or developmental disability are treated occupational therapists. They assist patients in developing, maintaining, or relearning everyday tasks related to work or daily life.
This work could entail assisting patients in improving their gross and fine motor skills. It may even be necessary for the occupational therapist to assist a patient in developing problem-solving skills. In other words, the occupational therapist aims to assist patients in leading full and productive lives despite their disabilities.
An aspiring occupational therapist must have a high school diploma in order to enroll in a program that offers occupational therapist training. A high school graduate must pursue a bachelor’s degree to further his or her education. Graduates with majors in sociology, biology, liberal arts, anthropology, or other relevant subjects are more likely to be accepted into an occupational therapy graduate program.
The student will take courses in behavioral, biological, and physical sciences once enrolled in a graduate program. He or she will also be required to take theory and skills classes in occupational therapy. Under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist, the student must successfully complete six months of field work. Finally, in order to receive certification, the student must pass a national exam.
As an occupational therapist works to improve the lives of patients, he or she has a wide range of responsibilities. A therapist may, for example, assist a patient in learning to use a wheelchair or improving memory. Patients with spinal cord injuries or cerebral palsy may be taught how to perform daily tasks that they will need to master in order to live independently an occupational therapist.
Occupational therapists who work with young children may assess a disabled child’s abilities and recommend classroom modifications to allow the child to participate fully in activities. Therapists may work with elderly patients to determine whether or not they are capable of driving safely. They may then recommend special equipment to help older patients maintain their driving autonomy. Patients’ homes may be visited other occupational therapists who specialize in the elderly. During the assessment of the home, the therapists will look for items in the living environment that could cause an elderly person to fall.
Some occupational therapists work with mentally challenged patients. They might concentrate on teaching patients skills like shopping, housekeeping, and taking public transportation. They might even teach them how to make good decisions and manage their time.
Those who choose to pursue occupational therapy education will begin a career that allows them to help people improve their quality of life. Occupational therapists must demonstrate empathy and patience when teaching someone how to drive a car or cook a meal. These two essential characteristics enable therapists to assist patients in achieving their goal of living independent, successful lives.