My grandmother recently underwent a hip replacement surgery. After her surgery, she was placed under the care of an occupational therapist. Until this time, I had known very little about what an actual occupational therapist did on a daily basis. Now that I have had a brief insight into the day-to-day of an occupational therapist, I thought I would try to illuminate the life of an occupational therapist for those interested.
What an Occupational Therapist Does
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational therapists help treat injured or disabled patients by helping them recover, develop, and improve skills they would need for everyday working and living. They do this through various exercise routines and different types of rehabilitation. Most occupational therapists work in either a hospital or a hospice type of environment. Also, it is worth noting most of their patients tend to be up in age, but this is not always the case.
How to Become an Occupational Therapist
A lot of school is required to become an occupational therapist. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics says that most occupational therapist enter the field with a Master’s Degree. This degree requires four years of study at the undergraduate level and usually anywhere from two to three years of additional study at the graduate level.
The field of occupational therapy is a quickly growing field. According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, the field is expected to grow 29 percent between 2012 and 2022. This is much faster than the national average, which means that new occupational therapist are likely to be very successful finding a job.
There are many skills an occupational therapist must possess in order to be a successful caregiver. They must have excellent communication skills in order to effectively communicate to their patient’s instructions and advice. They also must possess a great deal of patience, as many of their patients are going to be difficult to handle. Occupational therapists also must be flexible, this is because not every patient can be treated the same way and different types of treatments may be more successful on different types of people.
Occupational Therapy Month
You may not have been aware, but the month of April is National Occupational Therapist Month. So, if you have a loved one or friend in the occupational therapy field let them know how much you appreciate their care and dedication to helping others.