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Occupational Therapists

Bridgette Anderson
February 11, 2014
Occupational Therapists
Making a career out of occupational therapy coes !ith a lot of responsibility" #a$ing
the title occupational therapist, eans you are responsible for obser$ing and e$aluating
patients, creating treatent plans for each indi$idual, and deonstrating e%ercises"
Occupational therapists also ha$e to infor the patient&s faily about !hat needs to be done
in order to ipro$e the patient&s skills" Most patients that an OT 'occupational therapist( !ill
!ork !ith ha$e been referred by a physician" An OT !orks !ith a $ariety of people and helps
those that cannot perfor siple daily li$ing tasks, be able to li$e a ore independent
lifestyle" Bureau of )abor *tatistics, 2014, +1("
Most people enter the occupational field !ith a aster,s degree in occupational
therapy" Master,s degrees generally take t!o to three years to coplete" All graduate
progras in occupational therapy re-uire a bachelor&s degree and look to see if you ha$e
taken specific classes like biology and physiology" *oe schools offer a progra
!hich allo!s people to earn their aster, along !ith their bachelor&s degree in /ust fi$e years"
The doctoral progras take three years to coplete, but both doctoral and aster,s progras
re-uire at least t!enty.four !eeks of super$ised field!ork" Bureau of )abor *tatistics"
'0anuary 1, 2014(" 2hat Occupational Therapists 3o" 4etrie$ed February 5, 2014"
Occupational therapists ust pass the national e%aination adinistered by the
6ational Board for 7ertification in Occupational Therapists" 8n order to take this e%a,
candidates ust ha$e a degree fro an accredited progra and copleted all re-uireents"
Today there are one.hundred and$e aster,s degree progras accredited by the
Accreditation 7ouncil for Occupational Therapy" Once the e%a is passed, additional classes
ust be taken to continue education and aintain the certification" Other certifications are
also offered by the Aerican Occupational Therapy Association, for those that !ant to
ad$ance in a specialty area" A fe! of the areas that an OT can speciali9e in are pediatrics,
geriatric and ental health" Bureau of )abor *tatistics" '0anuary 1, 2014(" 2hat Occupational
Therapists 3o" 4etrie$ed February 5, 2014" Fro"
As of May 2012, the edian annual !age for occupational therapists !as :;5,400" The
top fi$e places !here these therapists !orked !ere nursing care facilities, hoe health care
ser$ices, offices, hospitals, and schools" The lo!est ten percent !as earning less than
:50,500 !hile the top ten percent !as earning ore than :10;,0;0" 2orking as an
occupational therapist eans !orking nights and !eekends, in order to accoodate your
patients schedules" 8n 2012, ost OTs !orked full tie" Occupational therapy is a deanding
/ob" Fro 2012 to 2022, eployent of occupational therapists is e%pected to gro! t!enty.
nine percent" 2ith all the edical ad$ances today, patients !ith critical probles are no!
able to sur$i$e" These patients are then in need of occupational therapy in order to perfor
daily tasks" More and ore states are also re-uiring insurance copanies to co$er autis.
related ser$ices" That eans ore therapists !ill be needed in schools to help !ork !ith the
autistic children" Bureau of )abor *tatistics" '0anuary 1, 2014(" 0ob Outlook"
4etrie$ed February 5, 2014" Fro
The work environment for an occupational therapist ranges from schools, hospitals, homes,
offices and nursing homes to psychiatric facilities. hen working in an educational setting, an !T will
complete assessments and decide what should be done in order for a student with a disability, to get the
appropriate education in the least restrictive way. "n !T will evaluate the child and make decisions
concerning what services, modifications and supports he or she needs, in order to fulfill their full
potential as a student #"merican !ccupational Therapy "ssociation, $ 2%.
8n a nursing hoe setting, occupational therapists help their patients becoe ore
acti$e and independent" They ake recoendations based on the patients abilities and
their en$ironent 2orking in a hospital is siilar to !orking in a nursing hoe" Occupational
therapists create treatent plans for anyone !ho is reco$ering fro a surgery, has a
disability, or is unable to do certain acti$ities due to other reasons like age" The treatent
plans are ade to help the patients perfor daily li$ing tasks that they cannot do and becoe
ore independent"
*oe occupational therapists !ork in ental health settings and it is their /ob to help
those that are suffering fro de$elopental, ental or eotional probles" Teaching these
patients ho! to cope and deal !ith e$eryday life is the occupational therapists /ob" *oe of
the skills they help teach are tie anageent, budgeting, using public transportation and
doing household acti$ities, such as chores" <eople that deal !ith depression, ha$e
e%perienced a trauatic e$ent, or ha$e a bad past !ith drugs and alcohol, ay !ork
indi$idually !ith occupational therapists" Bureau of )abor *tatistics" '0anuary 1, 2014(" 2hat
Occupational Therapists 3o" 4etrie$ed February 5, 2014" Fro
hen going into the occupational therapy field, it is good to possess certain &ualities, one of
them being communication. !Ts must be able to communicate with their patients, listen, and
understand what they are saying. 't is an !Ts (ob to voice their opinions and treatment plans to not only
the patient, but also the family. "nother &uality that is good to have is compassion. !ccupational
therapy is a field that people are drawn to because they have a desire to help people. )le*ibility and
patients are two more &ualities that are very similar. +nderstanding that not every treatment is going to
work for your patient is key. !Ts must take time to work and find the best treatment plan for each
individual. ,eing able to gain your patients trust and respect is a big skill that every occupational
therapist should have. ,ureau of -abor .tatistics. #/anuary 0, 2123%. 4ow to ,ecome an !ccupational
Therapist. 4etrie$ed February 5, 2014" Fro"
"merican !ccupational Therapy "ssociation. #n.d%. 'n .chool .ettings. Aota" 4etrie$ed February ;,
2014" Fro http=>>!!!"aota"org>.>edia>7orporate>Files>AboutOT>
<rofe ssionals >2hat8sOT>7@>Fact.*heets>*choolA20*ettingsA20factA20sheet"ash% "
,ureau of -abor .tatistics. #/anuary 0, 2123%. 4ow to ,ecome an !ccupational Therapist.
4etrie$ed February 5, 2014" Fro