In The Shoes Of An Occupational Therapist


We know that nurses care for people day in and day out of their jobs. In fact, being a nurse is a lifetime commitment of helping out anyone who is in need. What about an occupational therapist? Will you have to work as much as well? Although occupational therapists focus on a field of medicine, their commitment to treating the sick is the same. If you are interested in becoming an occupational therapist, here is a quick run through of what it is like in the shoes of one.

 

Education

To be an occupational therapist, you have to earn a master’s degree or higher in occupational therapy. This is the primary requirement. When it comes to your undergraduate major, you can choose among liberal arts, anatomy, psychology, anthropology, biology and sociology. These are good majors for people wanting to pursue a master’s degree in occupational therapy later on.

After earning a master’s degree or higher degree, all occupational therapy graduates are required by the state to get a license. State regulations will differ from one another. But basically, if you want to obtain a license, you have to pass the national certification examination. A license is needed to be able to practice your profession.

 

The Job

To Be An Occupational TherapistOccupational therapists are healthcare professionals. They are responsible for helping people to regain mobility that is needed in performing daily and work activities. Occupational therapy patients have lost abilities due to a physical, mental, emotional or development disability. Occupational therapists will improve their quality of life by helping them gain their independence.

In the shoes of an occupational therapist, you will have to assist patients in various activities including physical exercises that will improve the patient’s strength, dexterity and mobility. There are activities that will improve visual acuity so the patient will be able to distinguish patterns. Occupational therapists also uses computer programs that will help in the patient’s skills in coordination, problem-solving, memory, abstract-reasoning, decision making and sequencing. In addition to these activities, you will have to develop special equipment that will assist patients in their daily lives.

Employment

Back in 2008, there were 104,000 jobs in occupational therapy in the U.S. The job outlook remains bright as this medical field is expected to increase in occupations at a rate faster than the average until 2018. Occupational therapists have a median annual salary of $69,630. They can work in different healthcare settings like hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. They can also choose to work with a specific group of patients like children, elderly or the mentally ill.


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