What is an occupational therapist? Occupational therapists help patients improve their ability
to perform tasks in living and working environments. They help clients to perform all types of activities, from
using a computer to caring for daily needs such as eating, dressing, and cooking. Occupational therapist work with
individuals who suffer from a physically, mentally, developmentally, or emotionally disabling condition.
As the name suggests the therapist helps the patients to regain or develop the ability to do day-to-day
occupations and skills the patient was used to before or develop a skill which the patient was never able to do.
Physical exercises may be used to increase dexterity and strength, while other activities may be chosen to improve
visual acuity or the ability to discern patterns. They use treatments to recover, develop or maintain the work
skills and daily living of their patients. The occupational therapist helps clients not only to improve their basic
motor functions and reasoning abilities, but also to compensate for permanent loss of function. They aims at
providing a sense of satisfaction to the person that also enables him to perform at a great working
What is an Occupational Therapist? Duties and responsibilities
Occupational therapy may be defined as a profession, concerned with occupation and health well-being of working
individuals. The improvement of the ability to do tasks can be related to daily living or tasks in a work
environment. An occupational therapist is mainly concerned with therapy that helps patients regain their motor
skills after a physical or mental trauma, or due to old age. As an occupational therapist, you will identify the
individual's current condition sometimes with the help of family members to determine the goals of therapy perform
these activities and realize these objectives.
Occupation of a person influences his health to a great extent. Patients with permanent disabilities, such as
muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy often need special instruction to master certain daily
tasks. The actual process of improving the patient's abilities has many aspects to it and covers many functions,
depending on the disability suffered. They also work with individuals who are dealing with alcoholism, depression,
stress-related disorders, drug abuse or eating disorders. They also help in paralysis of some parts or the entire
body with the use of beneficial baths and massages with oils and condiments.
Occupational therapists may work with children individually, serve on an administrative committee, consult with a
teacher, or lead small groups in the classroom. Occupational therapists in mental health settings treat individuals
who are mentally ill, developmentally challenged, or emotionally disturbed. They will choose activities that help
people learn to engage in and cope with daily life. Activities might include the use of public transportation, time
management skills, budgeting, shopping and homemaking. They may work in spacious rooms equipped with tools,
machines, and other devices generating noise. It is not uncommon for occupational therapists to work for more
than one employer at multiple facilities, which may involve significant travel time. Occupational therapists
working for one employer full-time usually work a 40-hour week. Occupational therapists are regulated in all 50
States. A master's degree or higher in occupational therapy is the typical minimum requirement for entry into the
field. Occupational therapists must attend an academic program accredited by the Accreditation Council for
Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) in order to sit for the national certifying exam. To obtain a license,
applicants must graduate from an accredited educational program and pass a national certification examination. Some
States have additional requirements for therapists who work in schools or early intervention programs.
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