What is the Role of an Occupational Therapist

What is The Role of An Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists (OT) are health care professionals who support people to fully engage in daily life. But what is the role of an occupational therapist? In general, these career professionals use everyday activities therapeutically to treat patients who are disabled, ill, or injured. They assist and help these patients until recovery and improvement of skills necessary for daily living and working.

What do occupational therapists do? Read on to know more about this amazing profession.

Duties of Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapists usually perform the following duties:

  • Assess the patient’s condition and needs and review their medical history
  • Evaluate the home or workplace of the patient and recognize potential improvements based on their health needs
  • Observe patients when performing tasks
  • Create a treatment plan for patients, including the types of activities and specific goals to achieve
  • Support patients, particularly those with disabilities, on their tasks
  • Demonstrate exercises for pain relief for patients with chronic conditions
  • Educate the family and employer of the patient about accommodating and caring for them
  • Identify the need for and recommend special equipment like hearing aids and wheelchairs, and educate the patient on the use of such
  • Assess and record the activities and progress of the patient and develop evaluation reports to be given to physicians and other healthcare professionals

What is The Role of An Occupational Therapist
What is The Role of An Occupational Therapist

Work Environment of Occupational Therapists

There are different types of jobs in occupational therapy, and depending on the type, occupational therapist duties and work environment may vary.

There are those who work with children in educational settings, while some work with adults who have disabilities and illnesses. Others provide intervention therapy for infants and toddlers who are at risk of or have developmental delays.

Occupational therapists may also work with the elderly, helping them to lead more active and self-reliant lives. Some therapists support patients in their work by helping them create a more functional work environment.

Further roles of an occupational therapists, some occupational therapists work in hospital settings as a part of the healthcare team together with doctors, nurses, and other therapists. Other therapists may also be in the mental health settings where they assist and support patients suffering from emotional issues, mental illnesses, or developmental disabilities.

No matter where occupational therapists work, they spend long hours on their feet working with patients. Those who work in multiple facilities are required to travel from place to place.

Education and Qualifications of Occupational Therapists

Before you can practice as an occupational therapist, you must have at least a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Aside from that, they also must have a license to practice.

To be a registered and licensed occupational therapist, one must pass the national examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapists (NBCOT). Before taking the exam, one must have a degree and accomplished all fieldwork requirements.

To maintain certification, occupational therapists must take continuing education.

Benefits of Working in Occupational Therapy

Working in the field of occupational therapy offers a lot of benefits. Here are some of them:

  1. Improves your self-reliance.
  2. Enhances your strength and endurance for functional tasks.
  3. Refines your interpersonal skills and makes you close to people.
  4. Boosts your skills in modifying homes and operating equipment.
  5. Enhances your caregiving skills.
  6. Teaches you empathy and allows you to offer support.

Occupational Therapist Roles
Occupational Therapist Roles

OATA Questions

What are the duties and responsibilities of an occupational therapist?
Depending on where occupational therapists work, duties and responsibilities may vary. In general, occupational therapists are expected to perform the following:

  • Assess the patient’s condition and needs and review their medical history
  • Evaluate the home or workplace of the patient and recognize potential improvements based on their health needs
  • Create a treatment plan for patients, including the types of activities and specific goals to achieve
  • Support patients, particularly those with disabilities, on their tasks
  • Assess and record the activities and progress of the patient and develop evaluation reports to be given to physicians and other healthcare professionals

What can occupational therapists help with?
Occupational therapists help people with health conditions that prevent them from doing their daily activities. An occupational therapist can recognize the strengths and difficulties in everyday lives of patients and provide support by developing practical solutions.
What is the purpose of an occupational therapist?
The purpose of occupational therapy is to assist people to improve their functional independence while minimizing and preventing disability and injury. Occupational therapy is often combined with other treatments, such as physical therapy.

The Role of An Occupational Therapist at Theracare AZ

At Theracare Pediatric Services, Occupational therapy can help improve the cognitive, motor, and physical skills of pediatric patients. It also enhances patients’ independence and self-esteem. What is the role of an occupational therapist? With the therapeutic use of daily activities, a Theracare occupational therapist provides support to disabled, ill, or injured children until they show progress or fully recover.