The Smartest Way To Become An Occupational Therapist

Most people think that just because they graduated from an accredited Occupational Therapy college it means they can land a job right away. Many had to undergo a series of fieldwork and case studies because they were not still prepared for the tough job occupational therapists do.

Here are smart ways for you to quickly become an occupational therapist. Think of these suggestions as ways for you to see if being and OT is really for you. Most of these preparations require you to start early so you have to create and do this “battle plan” as early as college.

  • Volunteer

One of the best ways to have an idea what an OT (Occupational Therapist) does on a daily basis is to do some volunteer work. Check if there are any hospitals, orphanages, or retirement homes who accept interns. If you do not have any prior experience, ask them if they can consider you. At this point, do not expect any sort of compensation. Remember that you are here to learn.

  • Hit the gym

Being an OT entitles one to lift heavy equipment, even people. There will come a time that you will need to lift wheelchairs, a sick child, an ailing elderly, an athlete with a sprained ankle, even an obese person. So hit the gym and start lifting weights now!

  • Work with a diverse set of people

Giving advice and counseling is also part of being an OT. Take courses in psychology and other behavioral sciences. Learning how to listen is an art every OT must master. Sometimes, patients, especially the elderly, just need to unburden any emotional baggage they may be experiencing so you, as an OT, need to be able to help the patient in this aspect.

Also, keep yourself up to date with the latest news in fashion, sports, politics, current events, or history. An OT should be able to relate to a diverse set of people from all cultures, all races, and all ages. When an elderly patient talks about his experiences during the Vietnam War, you should be able to relate sincerely instead of just nodding. In the same way, you should be able to tell the latest adventures of Dora the Explorer to a child with a disability.

  • Buddy up with an OT

To better know what the day in the life of an OT is like, then you should buddy up with an OT. Observe what he does and how he handles any situation. See how he relates to the patients and his co-workers. Every OT has his own style of doing things, and you will have one too once you become a successful OT.

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