Career in Occupational Therapy

A career in occupational therapy involves helping people with physical or mental disabilities to achieve good level of functioning and independence in all aspects of their daily routines. It includes performing daily normal activities in play, work, leisure etc. The occupational therapists deal with the people having mentally, physically, emotionally or developmentally disabling conditions. They help the patients to identify the imbalances and design the activities to deal with them. This patient specific therapy involves creative, recreational or educational activities. Patient’s background, specific interests, his previous experiences form an integral part of treatment.

Skills Required for Career in Occupational Therapy:

Work area of occupational therapists include evaluating home and work environments, customized treatment programs for particular disabilities, giving recommendations for necessary adaptation, recommendation for adaptive equipments like splints, wheel chairs for temporary or permanent loss of function, assessments and records of patient progress, aids for eating and dressing required for the patients and giving guidance to the family members about the patient care.

People with various problems can get benefits from occupational therapy such as work-related injuries like repetitive stress injuries to lower back problems, birth injuries, development disabilities, learning problems, mental problems like schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and post-traumatic stress, vision or cognitive problems etc.

Occupational therapists are in high demand all over the country and world. Job opportunities in occupational therapy are available in various sectors.They can work with other medical specialities in hospitals, polyclinics, rehabilitation centers, psychiatric institutions, special schools, community mental health centers,residential
care facilities, adult daycare programs, sports teams etc. Jobs in occupational therapy can be achieved in industries and architectural arenas for ergonomic consultations for the higher accessibility by the disabled. In schools, the occupational therapists evaluate the abilities of children and recommend the therapy. The therapists help the senior citizens to lead more active, independent and productive lives.

Qualifications needed for a Career in occupational Therapy

The therapists can start a career in occupational therapy after completion of some courses.They should opt for the courses like B. Sc. Occupational Therapy, Bachelor of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapist Diploma. These occupation therapy courses are offered by several well-known institutes in India including The Institute for the Physically Handicapped in New Delhi, All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Mumbai, Christian Medical College in Tamil Nadu, College of Allied Health Sciences in Karnataka, Govt. Medical College in Chennai etc.

The occupational therapists have to adjust their work hours to coincide with patient’s schedule. Constant stooping, kneeling and standing for long hours can be a part of job which may be troublesome.