Occupation Therapy Demystified
Occupational therapy is the assessment and treatment of physical and psychiatric conditions using specific, purposeful activity to prevent disability and promote independent function in all aspects of daily life.
Occupational therapists work in hospital and various community settings (see below). They may visit clients and their carers at home to monitor their progress. When a course of therapy is completed, the therapist will analyse how effective it has been.
Where do occupational therapists work?
Occupational therapists work with young children, adolescents, adults and older people.
In these areas:
- physical rehabilitation
- mental health services
- learning disability
- primary care
- environmental adaptation
- care management
- equipment for daily living
- research posts
In these places:
- community centres
- education establishments
- GP practices / primary care
- housing associations
- clients homes
- industrial and commercial organisations
- residential and nursing homes
- social services and council departments
- charities and voluntary agencies
They work with people of all ages to help them overcome the effects of disability caused by physical or psychological illness, ageing or accident. The profession offers enormous opportunities for career development and endless variety.
Being a registered occupational therapist takes patience, ingenuity, determination, common sense, a sound knowledge base and enthusiasm. Most of all, it requires an interest in working closely with people to enable them to lead full and satisfying lives as independently as possible.