Occupational therapists help people suffering from illness, injury, or disability in a variety of settings. These therapists assist people in engaging in meaningful activities such as vocational, recreational, or self-care. Occupational therapy jobs can be found in a variety of settings, including social service organizations, institutions, and client workplaces. These assistants usually assist clients with therapy programs as prescribed the supervising occupational therapist implementing treatment plans and assisting clients with therapy programs. Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants collaborate with doctors, employers, and family members to identify and remove barriers to client independence, no matter where they work.
Many occupational therapists focus on a specific patient population. This could be due to a client’s physical location, age, or the nature of their personal limitations, such as in the case of patients recovering from brain trauma or addiction. Because occupational therapy jobs can be found in a variety of industries, an occupational therapist has a wide range of options to choose from. An occupational therapist, for example, might work solely in schools to help students overcome physical or learning disabilities, in nursing homes to help geriatric patients improve self-care skills, or in a rehabilitation facility to help trauma patients regain strength and mobility after an injury. Occupational therapy jobs in the workplace are frequently focused on assisting sick or injured employees who are returning to work after a period of absence.
Occupational therapy jobs typically begin with an initial assessment that identifies client limitations through interviews, observation, and clinical testing, followed the development of a specific treatment plan based on the client’s challenges and goals. Physical, cognitive, or behavioral therapy, vocational retraining, or the use of assistive technology such as voice recognition software or specialized seating or standing products may all be included in treatment plans. Once a treatment plan is in place, the occupational therapist’s job is to keep track of the client’s progress and make any necessary changes to the plan, with the ultimate goal of full independence.
Occupational therapy jobs have different educational requirements depending on where you work. To practice as an occupational therapist, most occupational therapy associations require a combination of university training, usually a master’s degree from a recognized occupational therapy program, supervised fieldwork experience, and the passing of a certification exam. Occupational therapy assistants typically need a bachelor’s degree or a college certificate, as well as on-the-job training. Local occupational therapy associations should be contacted to determine specific requirements because there is a great deal of regional variation in requirements and no reciprocity of qualifications between regions.