What Does An Occupational Therapist Do?

Few career paths give you the opportunity to work with a wide variety of people like occupational therapy does. If you are a “people person” this may be the job for you! Earning a masters degree in occupational therapy means you are about to get up close and personal with folks and make a big difference in their quality of life.

It’s All in the Name

Sometimes people are confused about what exactly an occupational therapist does. No, they are not career counselors advising on who would make the best doctor, lawyer, or writer. What an occupational therapist does is help people complete their life tasks the best they can. Occupational therapy revolves around the word “occupation”. Everyone has tasks to do whether it is a paid job, going to school or even functioning around the home. These tasks are sometimes difficult due to various reasons such as injury, disability, etc. Occupational therapists provide therapy for people looking to live their best life and accomplish the tasks that they need to in order to function independently.

Child’s Play

When people think of occupational therapy, they may not generally think of kids. In fact, children are one of the main recipients of therapy as they work to overcome obstacles in the way of their learning. Children’s tasks often include getting dressed for school, brushing teeth, holding a pencil, playing on the playground or using scissors. Occupational therapists help children accomplish these tasks so they can make the most of their childhood.

Adults of All Ages

As an adult, it is sometimes difficult to accept help from other people. This is where superheroes- otherwise known as occupational therapists- come into play. If someone is adjusting to a new way of life following an accident or medical condition, occupational therapy becomes vital in helping to gain back independence and confidence. Although physical therapy and occupational therapy may have similarities, OT focuses on tasks such as bathing, eating, driving, preparing meals, taking care of the home, leisure activities and many other life skills. Adults generally are seen in hospitals, private offices, nursing facilities, or at home. Occupational therapists work with adults of all ages, from “Millenials” to “Boomers”. Having a great attitude, energy and compassion will be key to patient success.

What do occupational therapists do? The question is, what DON’T they do? Every client/patient is different and flexibility is key in this career. Helping someone to be independent and successful in life can be a satisfying vocation. Occupational therapy involves getting up close and personal about goals, struggles, hopes and dreams. If this sounds like your cup of tea, then occupational therapy might be the right job for you!