Occupational therapy is playing major role in the healthcare industry since it is a field that takes on the holistic treatment of an individual. The primary goal of occupational therapy practitioners is to help individuals regain their independence so their quality of life will be improved. This will be done through a treatment program specifically designed for the patient. Since occupational therapy encompasses a wide variety of health conditions, there is one practice area called rehabilitation, disability and participation that you can pursue for your continuing education.
Rehabilitation, disability and participation is a practice area with six emerging areas that occupational therapy practitioners will be focusing on in the coming years. Here they are:
- Autism in Adults- Today, the American Psychiatric Association estimates 300,000 adults who are aged 22 years and older with autism. This puts the figure to 1.5 million of autistic adults that are growing old right now. Without proper treatment or guidance, autistic adults will have a hard in life. They might even find it hard to transition after high school. This growing number of autism in adults will need more occupational therapy services.
- Cancer Care and Oncology-1 out of 20 adults and 1 out of 5 65 years old and up individuals survive cancer. However, survivors will need post-care services like lymphedema therapy and palliative care. There are physicians that do not provide these treatments when in fact, such treatments help improve the quality of life. With the growing number of cancer survivors, there will be more need for occupational therapists
- Hand Transplants and Bionic Limbs- There are 1.7 million Americans who suffer from limb loss and 1 out of 200 Americans suffered from an amputation. The technology today has made it possible to perform hand transplants and bionic limbs surgery. Occupational therapy practitioners will be greatly needed in training the mind and muscles to make the hand and limb function well.
- New Technology For Rehab- Gadgets and applications have been helping individuals with their disabilities. There are smart phones with speech to text options. The Nintendo Wii helps in providing rehabilitative activities. New technology is helpful to occupational therapy.
- Telehealth- With the growing use of computers and the internet, Telehealth or telemedicine is growing in popularity. This is helpful for individuals who live in remote areas but need medical assistance.
- Veteran and Wounded Warrior Care- There are 22.7 million veterans in the U.S. and caring for these veterans have become an issue. These people suffer from post-traumatic stress, amputation and other brain injuries. Occupational therapy alongside the government should be able to provide proper care and treatment for these war heroes.