Being self-sufficient in everyday life leads to self-confidence and self-esteem. Occupational therapists provide a pathway to self-sufficiency by teaching mentally or physically challenged people new skills or how to modify old ones to compensate for lost abilities.
The job of an "O-T" involv ...
es teaching and motivating patients to develop, recover, or maintain daily living and work skills. It is a career that requires strong analytical skills and creativity in developing innovative and effective treatments for a variety of challenges.
One of the most rewarding aspects of this career is the chance to work with people, to help make a difference in their lives.
To be successful in this profession, you should be caring, supportive, and enthusiastic about working closely with people in need, since you'll be getting involved in many different aspects of your patients' lives, helping them get well, live well, and stay well.
Occupational therapy can be emotionally and physically demanding, but helping patients enrich the quality of their lives and achieve self-sufficiency can be an immeasurably rewarding experience.
Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to persons with disabilities or developmental delays.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Conduct research in occupational therapy.
Select activities that will help individuals learn work and life-management skills within limits of their mental and physical capabilities.
Advise on health risks in the workplace and on health-related transition to retirement.
Provide patients with assistance in locating and holding jobs.
Plan and implement programs and social activities to help patients learn work and school skills and adjust to handicaps.
Lay out materials such as puzzles, scissors and eating utensils for use in therapy, and clean and repair these tools after therapy sessions.
Design and create, or requisition, special supplies and equipment, such as splints, braces and computer-aided adaptive equipment.
Help clients improve decision making, abstract reasoning, memory, sequencing, coordination and perceptual skills, using computer programs.
Consult with rehabilitation team to select activity programs and coordinate occupational therapy with other therapeutic activities.
Recommend changes in patients' work or living environments, consistent with their needs and capabilities.
Provide training and supervision in therapy techniques and objectives for students and nurses and other medical staff.
Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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