Occupational therapy is a type of rehabilitation that focuses on assisting patients with daily tasks that have become more difficult due to physical, emotional, mental, or developmental issues. Occupational therapists (OTs) and occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) assist patients in regaining these abilities and maintaining the functions that enable them to function on a daily basis. Occupational therapy jobs are mostly found in hospitals, but they can also be found in doctor’s offices, schools, and nursing homes.
A master’s degree is required to work as an occupational therapist. The candidate must pass a national certification examination after completing an occupational therapy program at an accredited occupational therapy school. This is a comprehensive test that ensures the candidate has grasped all of the concepts required to practice occupational therapy. After passing the exam, the OT receives a license and can begin looking for work as an occupational therapist.
In a typical occupational therapy job, the OT will perform a variety of tasks to assist patients in regaining control of their lives after a condition or accident has rendered them disabled. Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants may help patients with strengthening activities, exercise, stimulating the visual senses, using computer programs to help patients regain decision-making, problem-solving, memory, and perception skills, designing special equipment, and developing alternative activities for patients with severe limitations. Occupational therapy jobs may focus on a single demographic of the population, such as the elderly, children, or people with mental disabilities. Occupational therapists for the elderly will mostly work in nursing homes, while occupational therapists for children will most likely work in day cares or schools. Working with mentally ill people will necessitate time spent in hospitals or health facilities.
Employment of occupational therapists is growing faster than that of many other professions, including those in healthcare. One-quarter of all occupational therapists work part-time, and one out of every ten therapists has a second job. Work as an occupational therapist can be exhausting because the therapist is on their feet for the majority of the day and is constantly interacting with others. Occupational therapists may work in large spaces with loud noises and machinery, and their work schedules often exceed 40 hours per week, depending on the occupational therapy setting and conditions. Lifting heavy equipment can cause health problems, such as strain.