Occupational Therapist – Tips On Career Advancement


An occupational therapist is a medical professional that helps and assists patients with physiological, emotional, mental, and physical disabilities and development delays. It aids in the improvement and enhancement of physical and physiological function to perform simple tasks of everyday living. It helps patients to regain independence and loss of physical functioning.

Occupational therapists help patients with permanent disabilities such as paralysis, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, and cerebral palsy to use adaptive equipment and tools like wheelchair and walker. Various therapeutic activities and exercises are provided to the patient according to their needs, whether mental or physical activity. Therapists also help patients to regain independence in doing simple tasks such as dressing and eating without assistance from other people.

Occupational therapists may advance their careers through obtaining a Doctorate Degree in Occupational Therapy.  They take a career to a higher level of knowledge and degree experience. Graduates of doctorate in occupational therapy have specialized knowledge and advanced practice, educational responsibility and leadership, and expertise beyond their level of work.

They may also have specialization in geriatrics, pediatrics, stroke rehabilitation, alcoholism and drug abuse, neurology, mental health, developmental delays and learning disabilities, burns and trauma, and oncology. Each specialization is designed to help patients with specific disability. For instance, geriatrics in occupational therapy deals with elder people with physical and mental disabilities such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer.

Occupational therapists may also be educators. They help future therapists to understand and learn the scope of occupational therapy. They supervise students during clinical hours and teach them proper ways in helping patients to achieve their goals. They may also help students to recognize the nature of their work, collaborate with other health professionals, and teach family members on how to help their patients regain independence and improve physical as well as mental well-being.

Some occupational therapists are engaged in research works. Research and studies are necessary to provide patients the most appropriate treatment programs with the use of modern technology. For instance, computers are used to help occupational therapists to assess patient and evaluate the response of the patient regarding a particular therapeutic treatment. They also research on ways to prevent restrictions in physical and mental ability of the patients.

Various training and seminars are available for occupational therapist to enhance their knowledge concerning their job and in relation to the condition of the patient. These help them to increase their level of expertise and competency in handling patients and formulate the most suitable therapeutic plan for the patient.


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