For those who do not know, April is Occupational Therapy Month. Occupational therapy has helped thousands of people ranging from the very young to the elderly live healthier and more productive lives for almost century. There are many factors of occupational therapy that I did not know. Here are some of the more interesting facts that I found out about occupational therapy.
The field of occupational therapy goes back to 1917. The term for occupational therapists at the time was reconstruction aides. The aides were normally civilian woman who were assigned to patients. The patients needed aides because they had received injuries or suffered mentally as a result of being in WWI.
Occupational Therapists Will Travel
When I think of occupational therapists, I automatically picture a sterile hospital setting. Truth is occupational therapists do work in hospitals but they also work in other settings such schools, clinics, nursing homes, home health care, psychiatric care facilities and in the area of private practice which could bring them right into your home. Occupational therapists go where they are most needed.
Occupational therapists will often have a special area of concentration. Some of the areas of concentration are pediatrics, eldercare, acute care, post-operative, hand therapy and lymphedema. Not only do occupational therapists have a specialty field; many hold Master degrees and must pass an exam to practice on patients. In fact as of 2007, all occupational therapists must have a Master’s degree. However many hold doctorate degrees.
Growing Area of Study
Even with the amount of schooling required, occupational therapy has become one of the fastest growing careers. As the need grows for qualified occupational therapy, the more university and college programs are being developed. There are currently 324 programs being offered nationwide. Many other colleges are looking into adding programs or expanding on existing ones as a result of the need for occupational therapists.
Occupational Therapy and Schools
Children with disabilities like to participate in the same activities as their classmates; they want to have that sense of belonging. Occupational therapists can help a child with disabilities become mainstreamed in school. The occupational therapist will work with the child to be able to experience school and social settings to the fullest. Living life fully is one of the main goals for occupational therapy.
Occupational therapy can help many live more productive lives. The occupational therapy may only be needed for short term but the results can be long lasting.