The Roles and Responsibilities of an Occupational Therapist

The options in the healthcare sector may seem limitless to anyone thinking about a future career in that field. It can be challenging to determine which profession best fits your personal and professional goals, given the wide variety of career options. A field that has grown in popularity is occupational therapy. But what precisely does […]

February 24, 2021

Abhishek Pathak

The options in the healthcare sector may seem limitless to anyone thinking about a future career in that field. It can be challenging to determine which profession best fits your personal and professional goals, given the wide variety of career options.

A field that has grown in popularity is occupational therapy. But what precisely does an occupational therapist do? Here is a look at the duties and obligations of occupational therapists, as well as the training and education requirements and future employment prospects.

Who is an Occupational Therapist?

An occupational therapist (OT) helps people who are hurt, ill, have a disability or are in pain carry out daily activities like going to work or school, taking care of themselves, and moving around. Working with patients to modify their routines and environments to meet their needs to learn new skills or discover new, simpler ways to complete tasks is part of your job as an occupational therapist.

An allied health profession called occupational therapy uses common activities or occupations in a therapeutic way to treat physical, mental, developmental, and emotional conditions that affect a patient’s capacity to carry out daily tasks. So, an occupational therapist is a healthcare professional who employs therapeutic techniques to enhance, restore, or maintain a patient’s capacity to carry out daily tasks.

What Does an Occupational Therapist Do?

An occupational therapist is a medical professional who incorporates routine activities important to the patient into the treatment plan to restore therapeutically function.

An OT’s main responsibilities and roles are:

  • Determine the needs and condition of the patient
  • Create treatment strategies
  • Change the patient’s living and working conditions to suit their needs.
  • Patient rehabilitation using equipment
  • Analyse and track development

The functional restoration will be the main focus of a typical therapy session, and it might include:

  • Strengthening
  • Executing routine tasks differently
  • Using assistive technology
  • Modifying the environment to accomplish the task.

What Skills Should an Occupational Therapist Have?

Occupational therapists are qualified for the position because they have a variety of job-specific and transferable skills. Some of the crucial abilities you should develop include:

  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Patience
  • Management of time
  • Critically analysing
  • Adaptability

While the majority of skills can probably be learned, it takes a certain kind of person to develop rapport with patients, demonstrate compassion in all situations, and help patients feel appreciated and supported.

In Which Areas Does an Occupational Therapist Work?

From infants to seniors, occupational therapists work with people of all ages in a variety of ways. Here are a few illustrations:

  • Helping students learn and succeed in school by working with them and their teachers in a classroom to help students develop skills like handwriting, computer use, or behaviour management techniques.
  • Assessing and treating cognitive impairment, or issues with thinking, remembering, or communicating, in patients who have been admitted to the hospital or had a brain injury can help them recover from or manage conditions-related problems.
  • Helping people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder manage their conditions so they can live independently at home and in the community by working with clients with mental illness in outpatient programs.
  • When a client’s physical abilities have changed due to a condition like multiple sclerosis or arthritis, working with them to identify and purchase equipment, such as wheelchairs or bathroom safety devices, to ensure the client can safely return to or remain at home.
  • Working with clients to determine what they may require going forward to be able to perform daily activities after a workplace or auto accident.
  • Working with clients to adjust their work habits, the type of work they do, or the workplace environment in order to return to work after experiencing a change in their physical or mental capabilities.

Working as an Occupational Therapist

If you want to become an occupational therapist, you can consider volunteering under the supervision of an occupational therapist at a hospital, a school, or another care facility. Additionally, you can look for an entry-level job as an OT assistant, which typically calls for a master’s degree and offers on-the-job training.

After completing your degree, you can start practising as an OT professionally. To get a headstart, you can get automated occupational therapy software to ease your manual processes.

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