Home Healthcare Service Therapist: Occupational Therapy At Its Best

Occupational therapy is a fast-growing profession especially with the projected growing demand for occupational therapists in the coming years. Occupational therapists play important role in the recovery of patients from injuries and illnesses since they do not only make sure that the body recovers from the condition – they also make sure that patients can get back to their regular routines and functioning.

In general, occupational therapists help patients with disabilities, injuries and illnesses through therapies and treatments. They provide therapies to develop and improve patients’ skills for better functioning and to improve overall quality of life.

This job can be very rewarding since you do not only get to help many people who are in need but you also get to have a great job that provides great income and work environment. If you are an occupational therapist, you have the chance to work in the client’s homes providing occupational therapy services at the comfort of their homes.

If you want to pursue this career, then finishing a bachelor’s degree is necessary. After earning a college degree, enrol in a master’s degree then pass the licensure exam for OTs to become a registered and licensed occupational therapist. Occupational therapy online degree programs are now also widely available so those who are already working can still finish a degree through online, part-time studies.

Occupational Therapy Work Environment: Home Health Services

Healthcare ServicesOne of the growing work settings for occupational therapists today is home health services. With the increasing population all over the world especially aging people with illnesses and disabilities, more and more patients prefer to have treatments and therapies at home rather than in health care facilities like hospitals and in nursing homes.

According the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, large percentage of occupational therapists employed in the country is working in hospital settings, offices, and nursing care facilities. In 2010, only 7% of the total occupational therapists provide home health care services making this specialization really in demand today due to the shortage of OTs focusing on this field or work setting.

Occupational Therapist In Home Healthcare Services

Just like those working in large health care facilities, occupational therapists in the home health care services work settings also provide care and treatment for patients with disabilities, injuries, and illnesses. They provide the same services as those provided by OTs working in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, and more.

If you are interested in becoming an occupational therapist specializing in home health care services, then these are the basic functions and duties:

  • Occupational therapists offer services in clients’ homes and assist patients with their daily activities, which may include bathing, dressing, cleaning the bed, cooking, eating, and even using the computer and other equipments used by the patient.
  • They also provide activities to improve patient’s dexterity and strength like physical exercises or even games especially for the kids.
  • Experienced and established occupational therapists also use high-tech equipments that help patients improve perceptual skills, decision-making, problem-solving, abstract reasoning, and memory.
  • They also help patient develop their coordination and sequencing abilities.
  • They can also suggest, design, and build equipments needed to assist patients in their development and progress. These equipments may be required at home, in the office, or anywhere the patient goes.
  • Occupational therapists may also control some aspects of the patient’s environment especially at home or in the office to provide a better environment that will help patient recover and improve more effectively.

Work Environment For Occupational Therapists In The Home Health Care Service

In these modern days where life can be quite fast and difficult especially for those that are earning average income, finding a job right away is necessary regardless of the work environment and job satisfaction. According to experts, it is important for people to decide what they want to do early on and achieve those goals. As much as possible, find the job that will not only bring food to the table but will also provide fulfilment and happiness.

Occupational therapy is one of the most satisfying jobs in the health care industry especially those working in home health care services. Upward mobility for OTs in this speciality is high while stress level is on the average. Stress level is lower compared to those working in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, and nursing homes because occupational therapist only needs to provide service one patient at a time. An occupational therapist may even be hired full-time by one patient only allowing an OT to focus on one patient.

Compared to other fields in occupational therapy, those working in home health care service also enjoy higher flexibility. Occupational therapists in home health care services can choose which area or city they can provide health care and services, and they can even have the option to work near their home or within their community.

However, just like in most health care professions, occupational therapists also usually spend more of their time at work standing and moving. They may be even required to lift and move heavy equipments as well as their patients so good physical health condition is very necessary in this job. For OTs in home health care services, driving from place to place may also be necessary especially if they have multiple clients.

Work Opportunities And Salaries For Occupational Therapists

According to the US BLS, the median salary of licensed occupational therapists employed in the country is around $74,000 in 2011. The highest 10% earners receive about $104,000 every year while the bottom 10% receives yearly income of $50,000. The areas that provide the highest pay for occupational therapists are Las Vegas, Elizabeth Town in Kentucky, and Coeur d’Alene in Idaho.

Occupational therapists providing home health care services can earn average income ranging from $65,000 to $75,000 according to Salary.com. OTs in home health care services enjoys higher than average pay plus they also have higher job satisfaction making this profession really great for those looking for a rewarding and lucrative profession.

With the growing elderly population in the United States, occupational therapists in various fields can expert great job market for years. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 33.5% employment growth for occupational therapists from year 2010 to 2020. This growth is about 36,400 more jobs open for occupational therapists.

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