Overview and Key Facts
(Above US Average)
Jobs in 2029
What Do They Do?An occupational therapist could...
Help a patient figure out ways to continue the activities he or she loves to do after an amputation.
Play specialized games with a developmentally delayed child to help him master fine motor skills.
Help a newly disabled person relearn how to do daily tasks, like cooking in her own home.
Help patients find adaptive equipment that can assist them in their living and working environments.
Listen to this section
Think of all the things you do as you go about your day, like putting on your shoes, buttoning your shirt, turning on a faucet, typing on a keyboard, going grocery shopping, picking up laundry, making a sandwich, or using a spoon. Now imagine trying to maintain your independence if an injury or illness made it difficult for you to use your hands, move your arms, or even walk. Occupational therapists are the healthcare providers who help people regain independence by developing or restoring their skills so they can continue functioning in their daily lives.
Listen to this section
Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of an Occupational Therapist?
- Service Orientation: ? Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Monitoring: ? Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Social Perceptiveness: ? Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Judgment and Decision Making: ? Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- 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.
- Reading Comprehension: ? Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking: ? Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Writing: ? Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning: ? Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Core TasksThink about if you'd like the typical tasks an Occupational Therapist might do:
- Complete and maintain necessary records.
- Test and evaluate patients' physical and mental abilities and analyze medical data to determine realistic rehabilitation goals for patients.
- Train caregivers in providing for the needs of a patient during and after therapy.
- Evaluate patients' progress and prepare reports that detail progress.
- Plan, organize, and conduct occupational therapy programs in hospital, institutional, or community settings to help rehabilitate those impaired because of illness, injury or psychological or developmental problems.
- Select activities that will help individuals learn work and life-management skills within limits of their mental or physical capabilities.
- Recommend changes in patients' work or living environments, consistent with their needs and capabilities.
- Design and create, or requisition, special supplies and equipment, such as splints, braces, and computer-aided adaptive equipment.
- Develop and participate in health promotion programs, group activities, or discussions to promote client health, facilitate social adjustment, alleviate stress, and prevent physical or mental disability.
- Consult with rehabilitation team to select activity programs or coordinate occupational therapy with other therapeutic activities.
- Lay out materials such as puzzles, scissors and eating utensils for use in therapy, and clean and repair these tools after therapy sessions.
- Help clients improve decision making, abstract reasoning, memory, sequencing, coordination, and perceptual skills, using computer programs.
- Plan and implement programs and social activities to help patients learn work or school skills and adjust to handicaps.
- Provide training and supervision in therapy techniques and objectives for students or nurses and other medical staff.
- Conduct research in occupational therapy.
- Advise on health risks in the workplace or on health-related transition to retirement.
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