Helping Others Is All Part Of Your Job As An Occupational Therapist


Being an occupational therapist is not for the faint of heart. One needs courage, determination, and perseverance. These characteristics cannot be attained overnight and will have to take years, even decades, of practice. But most of all, one needs patience and lots of it!

Your job as an occupational therapist entails you to deal with people with learning or physical disabilities, people who have undergone trauma and people who had accidents. Most of the time these people will not welcome help, do not want to talk or cooperate, are incapacitated, or are simply not in the mood. In extreme situations, patients may throw things at you, shout expletives, and become so uncontrollable that he or she would need to be restrained.

Remember, being an occupational therapist means you would have to be of assistance to the people who need it even if sometimes, they do not seem to deserve it. Each day is not always a sunny day. Even how hard you are trying to keep your cool, there is always a chance that you are on the edge of blowing your top. However, there are ways to prevent it from happening.

Stress Buster – Dealing With Patients

  • Take a breather

If your patient is getting violent or the situation is depressing you, leave them for a while to gather your wits or thoughts. Take a walk in the park. Hit the gym. Go to the spa. Remember, you are not helping anyone, not even yourself, when you attempt to help someone when you become emotionally unstable.

  • Counting your blessings

When your patient is making you feel miserable, try to step back and assess the situation from an outside point of view. Remember that you are lucky that you can live independently, have full use of all sets of limbs, are of sound mind and body, have family and friends. Think that because you are this lucky, you have the capacity to share your blessings with other people, especially those who need it most.

  • Talk to someone

Everyone needs to talk with someone. Therefore, even if an occupational therapist is usually a patient’s shoulder to cry on, sometimes therapists also need someone to help them unburden their problems, too. Talking to someone is itself a therapy. Therefore, if you feel that you have had enough of your patient’s rudeness or if you have just simply been exposed to too much negative energy, you can talk to a fellow co-worker, a friend, a member of the clergy or a relative and just release whatever has accumulated throughout the day.


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