Occupational therapy has one of the more confusing titles in all of the healthcare fields. When I hear “Occupational Therapy” I think of something work related, maybe something to do with helping someone recover from a work related injury. Even though that is part of what Occupational Therapists do, the job of an OTA goes far beyond what the title suggests.
Occupational Therapists, or OT’s as they are commonly known provide a wide range of therapies for patients of all ages. Whether it is an elderly patient learning to live with the physical limitations of growing old, or an infant trying to figure out how to eat foods of varying textures, OT’s help people live better lives. Much like Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists help patients rehabilitate from injuries, but their role goes further. An OT will not only help the patient through the recovery, but they will also help prepare the patient to live with any long term or permanent limitations the injury may have left.
Another area where Occupational Therapists help people is with anxiety disorders. Some patients may have social anxiety or performing certainly daily tasks may cause a person anxiety. An OT can help these people work through these anxieties and allow them to start to live more normal lives free from any self created constraints.
Occupational Therapists need to be compassionate, empathetic, creative, and they must be good communicators. Many of their patients are struggling just to get through each day and a good OT needs to have the skill and patience to help their patients work through the frustrations of their every day lives.
Career Outlook for Occupational Therapy Assistants
Over the 10 year period 2010-2020 Careerinfonet.org projects job growth in this field to be over 40%! This stat alone should tell you that Occupational Therapy is an excellent career path, but if that’s not enough take a few moments to visit Occupational Therapy Schools USA to find out even more information about this career as well as find information about OT schools available in your area!