Occupational Therapy Work With People Of All Ages And Conditions
Occupational therapy to improve daily living is a health care profession that is dedicated to helping patients become more independent and productive through the use of daily activities. It is practiced in a wide range of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, home health agencies, offices and clinics, schools, and community-based programs.
OTs work with people of all ages and conditions, from premature babies to hospice patients. They use their skills to help individuals learn to cope with or overcome their difficulties and return to the occupations that are most important to them, such as cooking, dressing, bathing, and participating in leisure and social activities.
A good therapist will first listen to you as you describe your health problems and how they affect your daily life. They will then discuss how they can make changes to your environment or routine to help you achieve your goals. This may include teaching you how to use a device like a grab bar, suggesting physical exercises that will improve your strength, or even creating a special splint for you to wear during recovery from a burn.
Some therapists choose to specialize in specific areas of occupational therapy such as pediatrics, gerontology, or hand rehabilitation. This allows them to become experts in these fields and improve their job prospects. They can also advance their careers by earning a doctorate degree and becoming professors. Other therapists choose to start their own private practices.
In addition to working directly with clients, OTs often serve as advocates for systemic change to improve the health and well-being of their communities. They can promote occupational justice for all citizens by addressing issues such as poverty, disability, gender and sexuality, immigration, and the environment.
OTs need excellent written and verbal communication skills to explain their treatment plans to patients and colleagues. They must also be able to demonstrate problem-solving skills when faced with obstacles during the rehabilitation process. They must be compassionate and patient to support their patients as they work toward regaining independence. If you are interested in becoming an OT, consider taking high school science and communication courses as well as volunteering at a local hospital or with older adults. You can also learn more about the field by attending occupational therapy conferences and talking with current therapists. Many therapists enjoy the work they do and find it very satisfying. However, some may wish to leave the field due to the responsibilities and long hours. A good OT should also be self-motivated and flexible. They must be able to adapt to a changing landscape in health care as well as the ever-changing needs of their patients.