Occupational therapy is a career that allows you to make a difference in people’s lives every day. As an occupational therapist, you will help people of all ages facing physical, developmental, or emotional challenges regain the ability to participate in everyday activities. You may work with patients who have been injured or are recovering from surgery, or you may help children with disabilities learn how to play and interact with others. What makes occupational therapy so rewarding is that you can see the progress your patients make every day and know that you are helping them improve their quality of life. If you are interested in a challenging and rewarding career, you may want to become an occupational therapy assistant. Keep reading to learn more about career opportunities for occupational therapists.
What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapists work with patients who have physical, mental, or developmental disabilities to help them achieve independence in their everyday lives. They may specialize in a particular area such as pediatrics, geriatrics, or hand therapy. Some of the specific duties in occupational therapy include helping patients develop skills needed for daily living, such as bathing and dressing; prescribing and teaching exercises to improve strength and mobility; working with patients to improve their cognitive function, and counseling patients and families on how to best manage their conditions. Some OTs work with older adults who have difficulty coping with changes in their lives, such as moving into a nursing home. Occupational therapists may also be involved in research and development related to new treatments for various disabilities.
Occupational therapists help people of all ages achieve their fullest potential at work and home. OTs also work with people recovering from injuries or illnesses to help them return to their everyday lives. In addition to working with patients one-on-one, OTs also lead group therapy sessions and provide education on various topics related to health and wellness.
OTs can find career opportunities in various settings, including hospitals like the medical center in Philadelphia, NY, clinics, schools, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and private practices. They may also find employment with government agencies or corporations that offer ergonomic assessments or workplace accommodations. Some therapists choose to become self-employed and start a practice.
What are the different types of occupational therapy?
Occupational therapists use various techniques to help their clients achieve their goals. These may include providing physical therapy, counseling, teaching new skills, and recommending adaptive equipment or modifications to the client’s environment.
There are many career opportunities for occupational therapists. Some of these include:
- School-Based: A school-based therapist works with children who have disabilities in a public or private school setting. They may work with one student or a group of students. They may work with general education students, students with specific needs, or both.
- Pediatric: A pediatric therapist works with children from birth to 18 years old. They may work in a clinic or hospital and work with children who have a variety of disabilities.
- Geriatric: A geriatric therapist works with older adults in a clinic or hospital setting.
- Mental Health: A mental health therapist works with people who have mental health disorders.
- Rehabilitation: An occupational rehabilitation therapist works with people who have been injured or had surgery.
- Home Health: Home health therapists work with people who are homebound.
- Early Intervention: An early intervention occupational therapist works with developmentally delayed children.
- Community: A community OT works with people in the community and may work in a clinic, hospital, or private practice.
- Research: A research OT researches occupational therapy.
Occupational therapists improve patients’ abilities to perform everyday activities. With so many career opportunities for occupational therapists, it allows therapists to specialize in a specific area and work in different settings, which can help them improve their skills and experience while achieving their dream.