Have you ever heard of Occupational Therapy? I ask because I feel that the medical profession is underrated, in the sense of awareness and understanding.
Take physical therapy for example, most people have heard of it because the treatment is much more mainstream. For example:
- Almost any high school athlete that has sustained an injury has gone through physical therapy.
- Many car accident victims resort to physical therapy to recover and mitigate pain.
- Surgery patients almost always undergo physical therapy after their surgery.
I think you get the point, physical therapy is a common treatment practice that many people are familiar with.
But Occupational Therapy, although it may sound similar, is quite different and much less known to the general public.
What is Occupational Therapy?
This is a great video that will actually show you what occupational therapy looks like in action.
Occupational Therapy is for anyone recovering from mental disability or physical trauma that requires rehab for their daily life activities. It is often used with children needing developmental help as well.
Occupational Therapists often work in hospitals or skilled nursing facilities where they assist patients after surgery and other procedures. Another common place you will find OTs is working in the homes of their patients who need daily assistance.
There are pediatric OTs who work in pre-schools and other grade schools. And finally you can find Occupational Therapists working in nursing homes with Alzheimers and dementia patients.
Who do Occupational Therapists Help?
OTs help patients of all ages experiencing many different conditions. Here are just a few of the patients who need OTs:
- OTs help children with autism, sensory overload, fine motor skill development, cerebal palsy, down syndrome, dyspraxia, handwriting problems, and more.
- Adults that experience trauma, such as paraplegics, may also utilize an Occupational Therapist to help them regain motor skills and functions needed for daily activities.
- Elderly folks with dementia, or alzheimers, rely on OTs to help them throughout their daily routines.
So, young or old, physically or mentally disabled, there are many who need the help of an occupational therapist.
Why use an Occupational Therapist?
There are a few reasons you would use an occupational therapist. Some patients need temporary assistance after surgery or while recovering from some type of trauma.
Other patients have permanent conditions that disable them requiring lifelong assistance. Everyone engaging in occupational therapy is getting assistance in the areas they are limited in by their condition.
For a couple of reasons it is important to spread awareness for the field of occupational therapy.
First of all, OT is a very rewarding career that is fulfilling as you help your patients live better lives.
Secondly, the demand for OTs is increasing dramatically. This is because the baby boomer generation is aging and quickly increasing referrals to occupational therapy programs.
These conditions are creating an amazing opportunity for anyone interested in a career as an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.
Hopefully you’ve had a nice intro to OT today and we encourage you to continue learning more.
Checkout some of our other posts and resources on occupational therapy.
If you’re interested in learning about a career as an occupational therapist assistant then checkout this step by step guide on how to become an OTA.
If you ever have questions then just leave a comment 🙂