People with disabilities, chronic sickness, ageing, and other long-term problems rely on occupational therapists to assist them in their daily lives. Helping folks overcome numerous obstacles so that they may live as independently as feasible is what you’ll be doing in this position. In some instances, you may be teaching someone a new method to work, or making modifications to their current setting, so that their daily routines become more manageable.
In your job as an occupational therapist, you’ll have the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life. You’d be supporting patients recuperating from major surgery or a severe injury, persons with mental disorders, people with special education needs, and those who are elderly.
When dealing with any of the following, you may need to change their work or home environment to make it more accommodating. You might, for example, arrange for stairlifts or level access showers for an older person who desires to remain independent.
Working with patients and their families to improve their quality of life is one of the most fulfilling aspects of becoming an occupational therapist. Supporting an individual’s ability to live on their own might help alleviate the stress on their loved ones. Clients and their support networks aren’t the only ones you’d be working with; you’d also be working in different groups or as part of a multidisciplinary team. Hospitals, clinics, charities, jails, and social services departments are examples of these situations.
Duties and Responsibilities
Occupational therapists assess patients on more than just their ability to move freely. To help individuals have whole and meaningful lives, they provide practical answers. Occupation therapists have a wide range of responsibilities based on the industry they operate in and the people they help. However, most of their work occurs in healthcare facilities or the community.
An occupational therapist’s duties often include the following:
- The physical, verbal, interpersonal, and cognitive abilities of a patient are evaluated.
- Developing and implementing a treatment plan and activities that are suitable
- Recommending and organizing assistance for loved ones, caregivers, or clients
- Routine clerical duties, such as preparing reports, making phone calls, and maintaining files and case notes
- Keeping other medical professionals, such as physicians, family members, and caregivers, updated on the patient’s condition and treatment plan.
- Participating in multi-professional case meetings to evaluate treatment outcomes
- advising others on the best ways to accomplish their daily duties
- It’s all about making the environment more accessible for persons with disabilities – whether it’s at home or work.
Like any other career, becoming an occupational therapist requires numerous personal qualities. This is a public-facing job; therefore, you will meet new individuals every day. So your interpersonal skills must be superb. An occupational therapist must immediately establish relationships with a variety of clients.
You must be patient, sympathetic, and eager. You can make the difference between someone walking after a significant operation and being in the hospital. Positive thinking helps someone to release and recuperate.
Occupational therapists must be quick on their feet. If a patient’s therapy isn’t working, the capacity to immediately shift course is required. It would help if you also work effectively in a team since you will be interacting with other healthcare professionals.
Occupational therapists must be adaptable while dealing with patients’ highs and lows. Flexibility is vital while working with patients since their needs may alter at any time.
Occupational therapists must be effective communicators. This involves clear written and vocal communication to correctly identify patient requirements and explain treatment procedures. They must also collaborate with other healthcare experts and record treatment plans and progress.
If you want to work in occupational therapy, you need to know how to get there. Like many other healthcare professions, occupational therapy requires substantial study and training to get certified. Most occupational therapists have a master’s degree, but others opt to obtain a doctorate to succeed in their industry.