Occupational Therapists

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Also known as:  Occupational Therapist, OT, Registered Occupational Therapist

ABOUT OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
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.
SNAPSHOT Expand
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.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
LOW
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
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.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
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.
Getting Information 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.
Documenting/Recording Information 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.
Thinking Creatively 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 Expand
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.
Psychology 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.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Problem Sensitivity 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.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening 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.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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