A Career In Occupational Therapy
A career in occupational therapy (OT) involves a rigorous, multifaceted education. In addition to graduating from an accredited program, like the one offered by Pacific, students must complete fieldwork requirements and pass a national certification exam to obtain licensure. OTs have advanced knowledge of occupational science, anatomy, biomechanics and neurology, but they also integrate the fields of psychology and sociology to provide highly effective care.
OT practitioners believe that occupation, or the ways in which people engage in activities, play a critical role in health and well-being. They are skilled at helping patients participate in activities that are meaningful to them, despite challenges posed by disability or illness. They use a client-centered, holistic approach to help their clients improve the physical, emotional and social aspects of their lives.
In addition to providing a high level of client-centered home care, OTs also work with a variety of other healthcare professionals. This includes physical therapists, speech therapists, social workers, psychiatrists and psychologists. OTs must have excellent written and verbal communication skills to be able to document their progress and collaborate with colleagues. They are also required to be patient and flexible when addressing the varying needs of their clients, as no two situations will ever be the same.
Occupational therapy to improve daily living can help anyone who struggles to perform daily tasks. Older adults with mobility limitations due to injury, stroke or arthritis can benefit from it, as can children with autism, developmental delays, severe injuries or birth defects.
An OT will assess your condition, then come up with a plan of action to help you do the things you want and need to do. This may involve learning to use a new piece of assistive equipment, such as a grab bar or walker, or practicing exercises to strengthen your body. They will also help you find ways to manage your daily life in new ways, such as reducing the amount of time spent on chores or finding a way to cope with pain.
If you need assistance with daily living, it is a good idea to start with family and friends who can refer you to an OT or senior home care provider. Local organizations that provide meals, yard maintenance or other services for seniors may also have referrals. In addition, Visiting Angels can provide live-in or 24-hour home care that ensures a professional caregiver is available at any time of day or night to help with your loved one’s care needs. This can include assisting them with bathing, dressing, eating and even medication management. Contact us today to learn more.