Emerging Practice Areas for Occupational Therapists

The health industry is one of the fastest growing industries in various countries around the world despite the global economic downturns experienced these past few years. This is why a lot of aspiring professionals are now considering degrees and professionals in the science and health field because of the stable and lucrative careers and work opportunities available to them. One of the growing health care professions in the health field today is occupational therapy. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for occupational therapy will significantly increase in the next 10 years due to the growing population and growing need for medical and health services.

Occupational therapy is a very broad discipline that can be applied in various ways and numerous work areas. This discipline deals with emotional, physical and mental disorders that cause limitations to a person’s abilities and daily functioning. Because of the growing scope of occupational therapy treatments and services, a lot of new practice areas have also emerged leading to more career opportunities and wider work settings for professional and licensed occupational therapists.

One of the most popular practice areas for occupational therapists is elderly care. OT or occupational therapists can work in hospitals focusing on adult and elderly care, in health care facilities for the elderly, or in private homes of elderly patients. In the United States, most elderly people prefer to stay at home and just hire a health care professional to take care of them. Occupational therapists can work with other professionals like the patients’ private nurse and even the home architect in order to construct or modify the home that would best match the patient’s abilities and needs. They also educate the families or those people who live with the elderly in order for them to understand and know the right ways to support and care for their elderly family.

Another growing practice area for occupational therapists is training and assessments for drivers. Before, occupational therapists focus on old aged drivers in order for them to prevent from incurring injuries due to driving accidents. However, with the increasing number of accidents in the road due to errors in driving, occupational therapists are now greatly in demand in terms of providing evaluation, assessments and screenings to drivers of various ages. While doctors and physical therapists focus on the driver recovery and treatments after incurring the injury, occupational therapists evaluate and screen drivers in order to prevent the population of reckless and questionable drivers from increasing.

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