Occupational Therapist Training
Almost every job in occupational therapy will require the individual to possess a degree in the field, or at the very least, some sort of specialized training. While it is possible to do other types of jobs without some training, occupational therapy is a field that truly does require the experience and knowledge gained during the training process. Therefore, one should be very diligent and thoughtful when selecting and completing a program. The wrong fit can lead to disastrous results.
Occupational Therapy Classes:
The specific occupational therapy classes or courses one takes will vary greatly depending on the specific program or school that the individual attends. Commonly, however, classes are usually divided into two categories, learning, classroom style courses and hands on experience courses. Both categories are necessary for learning about and securing a job in the field of occupational therapy.
Classroom courses may be in the lecture or group discussion format. These classes usually aim to teach the basics of occupational therapy – what it is, what jobs and careers are available, what skills an occupational therapist will need to possess, the needs and rights of clients, the types of issues clients may have, and the goals of occupational therapy as a whole. Experiential learning courses are almost always conducted in supervised settings where the student works with or observes individuals in need of occupational therapy or who are currently undergoing some type of occupational therapy. These courses are usually intended as precursors to an internship.
Occupational Therapy Internships:
In addition to the experiential learning courses, most students will be required to complete some kind of internship in the occupational therapy field. School programs will help students to secure an internship and will assist and mentor them during the process of the internship. This is where many people give up the training process, because they feel that the internship is too difficult or that the field is not right for them after all. It is important to note that this is not always the truth; many people simply do not take enough care in selecting the right internship and thus do not fully enjoy the experience. This is why choosing wisely is so important.
Internships are a great way to gain experience in the field of occupational therapy and to help the student find which area of therapy he or she is best suited to. Internships are usually unpaid and are meant to prepare the student for a full time occupational therapist position. While these are meant to be learning experiences, they are usually treated as actual jobs by the student and require the same level of commitment and seriousness of an actual job. The number of internship hours required will vary from program to program and from school to school.
The process of securing and completing training in the occupational therapy field can be a long one, but if it is done correctly, with great care and dedication on the student’s part, it can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding lifelong career in the field.