Occupational therapy is a profession that promotes the health of people of all ages. Through occupations or the daily activities done by each patient in line with therapy, occupational therapy practitioners provide the comfort and convenience of living life to its fullest or living life better amidst any injury, illness, or disability they might have. But what does an Occupational Therapists do? What qualifications does one need to become one, and what kind of training do they do? Today, we will enlighten you with facts to better understand this exceptional and one-of-a-kind profession.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is a service that helps you or your loved ones navigate through regular day-to-day activities in the comfort of your home. There are specialized and in-home occupational therapy solutions that work with you or your loved one to help you regain your independence and mobility by helping you achieve goals in performing daily living skills. Occupational therapy helps you conserve energy and deal with the loss of function in the arms or legs. In addition, an evaluation of your home will be done, offering suggestions on how you can better safely navigate the environment.
Occupational therapists aid their patients in performing ordinary daily tasks. If you are hindered from performing daily tasks as you normally would, an in-home occupational therapist can help. If you suffer from an injury, illness, or disability, it may be difficult to perform tasks that you need to do throughout your day-to-day life. An occupational therapist will help you accomplish these tasks, they will empower you to complete daily tasks, and they will aid in training you to complete tasks on your own.
Once you become an occupational therapist, your profession will present a wide selection of career choices to you, available based on your preference and skills set. Some of just the few work environments occupational therapists can venture into includes:
- Hospitals, community clinics, as well as regional health systems and private practices
- Assisted living institutions
- Experienced nursing homes and facilities
- Home health and care
Occupational therapists can explore other fields not enumerated here but are suitable and productive with the occupational therapy profession.
With the type of service occupational therapists provide, one must possess specific qualifications to practice this very dedicated and passionate profession. In general, these are some of the requirements needed for all those occupational therapy practitioner hopefuls:
- Must have graduated from accredited occupational therapy programs
– seek out programs accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association
- Must have passed the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam
– applies standards that are evidence-based ensuring the best skill and knowledge of practicing occupational therapists
- Must have state licensure to practice
– passing the NBCOT exam is needed before applying and obtaining your license to practice occupational therapy
With these three main prerequisites, having a master’s degree can be a game-changer for those who wish to propel their career in the occupational therapy field.
After you have finished your degree as an occupational therapist, which usually takes three years if full-time and six years if part-time, a master’s degree is essential for better career opportunities and growth in this field. Upon gaining your qualification as an occupational therapist, you will have annual Continuing Professional Development, or CPD, follow-ups, wherein your institution will evaluate discussions of your future career path and plans to achieve them quite realistically. You can also apply for an apprenticeship degree to better your skills as an occupational therapist.
What They Do
Now that we have tackled the qualifications and training needed to become an occupational therapist, we can better understand what kind of work they do, especially in taking care of others. Typically, services provided by occupational therapists are as follows:
- Individualized evaluations for personal goals and growth will be determined by the occupational therapist and patient/family members.
- Interventions personalized based on the client’s preferences aim to enhance daily activity performance towards the desired goals.
- Outcome evaluations will ensure that the goals are met and have changes to the intervention plan once deemed necessary for the overall purpose and result.
Occupational therapists have holistic perspectives that focus on environment/task adaptation, having the client as the core of the therapy team in cohesion with their assigned occupational therapist. They can also help you by:
- Taking charge of rehabilitation to restore skills for activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, cooking, and eating.
- Changing your life by helping you become functionally independent or working with you to go back to doing something as simple as holding a tennis racquet after hand or arm surgery. This field is different from physical therapy as it’s not fixing the muscles; it’s working with the mind to teach you what to do with them. We work with sensory integration to coordinate mind and body.
- Supporting seniors who want to age at home safely as an alternative to going into assisted living.
- Teaching how to transition to going back into the working world, especially for people who have had traumatic injuries or are returning from rehab.
Some other common occupational therapy interventions include assisting disabled children in participating fully in school and social setups and providing help and support for older adults who experience changes in their physical and cognitive abilities.
The importance of the profession of occupational therapists is undeniable. They help people regain independence through life’s challenges and struggles; help them break barriers affecting their clients’ emotional, social, and physical needs; help little children play and improve school performance and; help people boost their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment through conquering daily activities. Occupational therapists are our helping hand as we move forward in life.
We hope that this article helped you in seeking knowledge about occupational therapy. If you are curious about occupational therapy assistance, feel free to contact our amazing friends from Nova Home Health Care! They provide in-home health care solutions for everyone! Visit them now! Visit them now!