Occupational Therapy Careers
Those with a degree in occupational therapy have a wide variety of choices when it comes to what type of career they will pursue. Individuals must first choose what type of people or special population they wish to work with and whether they would prefer working in a group or individualized setting. Knowing this information will help to make the process of finding and choosing a career or pursuing further specialized education much simpler.
A Day in the Life of an Occupational Therapist?
A question that is often asked is, “What’s a day in the life of an occupational therapist like?” Unfortunately, this is a question that is almost impossible to answer. The day to day routine of an occupational therapist varies greatly depending on what type of career one is involved in.
A therapist who works in a school setting, for example, might spend his or her days in a variety of ways including working with small groups of children, working with one particular child for the entire day, working in one school, working in several different schools, working with one specific age group, working with several different age groups, or working at an administrative (not “hands on”) level. Other types of occupational therapists may work in a large group home or rehabilitation center with a schedule that has been determined by the facility, while some choose to work with individuals in their own homes. The one thing that is constant for every occupational therapist, however, is the necessity of helping the client make and reach specific goals and of keeping track of the patient’s progress toward these goals.
Daily Tasks of an Occupational Therapist:
Since the workplace of an occupational therapist varies so much, so do the daily tasks that an occupational therapist may perform. Common ones, however, might include assisting with the client or clients’ daily needs such as bathing, cooking, or dressing; performing physical or mental exercises with the client that increase his or her ability to function in the outside world; leading or participating in learning activities; helping the client look for work and prepare for interviews; helping the client learn how to function in a work environment; teaching the client how to use specialty devices such as wheelchairs or lifts; and working on various types of behavior modification. Not every therapist will do everything on this list, though most will do at least a few of these.
When preparing oneself for a career in occupational therapy, it is very important to think about one’s own strengths and weaknesses. Someone who is uncomfortable around the physically disabled would probably not want to work with handicapped individuals; this does not mean that this person is not right for occupational therapy, however, just that he or she would want to go into a different area of occupational therapy. Luckily, there are, as evidenced in this article, a multitude of choices when it comes to working in occupational therapy, and selecting the right one is key when it comes to being happy, fulfilled, and loving one’s job.