Do you love helping people? Do you constantly find yourself in a situation where you are taking care of another person’s needs? Are you good at discovering the potential in other people and encouraging them in the right direction?
Occupational therapy is a branch of health and applied science that is aimed towards helping individuals achieve independence in their lives. A person that practices this is called an occupational therapist. Their responsibility is to make people enjoy their lives through helping them participate in various activities.
There are varied occupational therapy degree programs; however, the requirements to becoming an occupational therapist remain the same. It is important that you complete at least five years of a post baccalaureate degree for occupational therapy. This is different for an occupational therapy assistant who has to complete only two years to earn an associate’s degree.
In both cases, it is mandatory for the students to complete a fieldwork program where they will be assessed. Additionally, they will also need to sit for, and pass, a national examination; which will eventually grant them a certificate to practice. There are some areas that demand you to go for continual classes to sharpen and renew your skills.
Attaining an occupational therapy degree will enable you to treat a patient who has a physical or mental illness that prevents them from being able to live their life to the full. The age group in which occupational therapy can be given is not limited as young and old alike can be treated as well.
Although occupational therapy degrees prepare you to handle a wide host of illnesses, there are more common ones that you are likely to come across more often as you practice in your career. Joint diseases, injuries to the hands or feet, and cognitive impairments are some of the common conditions you will come across. You may also come across conditions that may prevent a person from being able to practice personal care and hygiene.
Occupational therapy degree programs will prepare you to work in many places. You can get a job at a hospital, rehabilitation center (body injuries), clinics, elderly homes, nursing facilities, pediatric wings in different institutions, and more.
There are different stages you go through when treating a patient. You will have to gather information, do the initial assessment, come up with an action plan, act on the action plan, evaluate progress, make adjustments if necessary, and finally discharge.
The beauty of occupational therapy is that there is no fixed one way of treating patients. Because different patients will come with different illnesses, it is important to evaluate each one individually and provide them with their own therapy plan.
There is an increasing demand for occupational therapists, especially in taking care of the elderly. Hospitals and rehabilitation centers are also frequently hiring occupational therapists. If you are interested in taking this course, you can choose to get your occupational therapy degree online or from a university or college of your choice near you.