The Different Career Paths Of An Occupational Therapist Part 1

An occupational therapist benefits from the increasing opportunities at work. Occupational therapists that choose to pursue a specialization can focus on a specific age group or area of occupational therapy. In the U.S., there are 104,000 occupational therapists and 29% works for ambulatory healthcare services. There is a good future for job employment in occupational therapy. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there will be 50,000 new jobs available in this field.

Occupational therapists have the freedom to work in different healthcare settings that will suit their specialty. They usually work 40 hours a week. They can work in hospitals, community centers, schools, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, mental institutions, private individuals and in a private clinic. With the many career paths of an occupational therapist, which one is for you?

Working In Rehabilitation Centers

Occupational therapists who work in rehabilitation centers have a full-time work schedule. They help patients with different disabilities. Often, the treatment will greatly depend on what type of rehab center you are working in. If it is for physical rehabilitation, then you will be more focused on improving the mobility and functions of the body. If it is a rehab center for the psychologically and mentally ill, then you will to help improve their way of thinking and making their emotions stable. Occupational therapists get to see patients in a regular basis to build a good relationship as well as keep track of the progress. Working in rehab centers can make you treat different patients from children to the elderly. You will learn a lot about the different illnesses and disabilities here.


Working In Private Practice

Only a little percentage of occupational therapists enters private practice but the number is steadily growing. These are occupational therapists working on a contractual basis. They can enter in a contract to work for a school, adult day care, nursing home or a healthcare agency. Often, these occupational therapists set up their own private clinic alongside a physical therapist or psychiatrist. Many occupational therapists are getting intimidated with the thought of self-employment because of the workers compensation insurance. However, if you want freedom in your work schedule, this is the way to go.

Working in Hospice Care

Career Paths of An Occupational Therapist Occupational therapy is becoming an important component of hospice care. You will deal with patients who are suffering from loss of physical and mental abilities as well as independent movement due to a terminal illness. Due to this, patients become isolated which magnifies the symptoms of the illness and can hasten fatality. Occupational therapists can help through helping patients regain their independence in performing daily tasks. Learning to function on their own once again can help the patient’s self-esteem, which can help improve the symptoms of his or her condition. This job can be emotionally challenging but if you can handle it, go for it.

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