Physical and mental disability incapacitates individuals in performing their day to day activities making them vulnerable to depend on family or assistants. To help these individuals to cope with their impairment requires skill and patience.
Occupational therapy is a profession that brings great changes in the quality of the life of disabled people of all age groups. They bring positive changes and enhance skill in children through occupation, developing the cognitive and motor skills.
Their chief aim is to restore independence through work, play and leisure. Treatment is based on purposeful activity that requires physical and mental involvement of the physically and mentally challenged. It is a daunting task but at the same time very fulfilling to give someone their freedom from being dependent and helping them do their own chore.
Requirements to work as occupational therapist:
To work as occupational therapist one would require a master’s degree. They need to attend Academic Program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. To obtain licensure they have to get through national certifying exam. They can advance in their profession by specializing in gerontology, pediatrics, mental health and physical rehabilitation. They can opt to work as therapist or serve to teach in accredited occupational therapy programs.
Career opportunities: According to US Bureau of Labor statistics there is increased job opportunities for occupational therapist, which is bound to rise with the treatment for the geriatrics. They have good scope and can find job in hospitals, government agencies, work under physicians, educational services, community care centers, and work for individuals or families etc. Their job prospects increases in schools where they play a crucial role in enabling children with disabilities to enter special educational programs.
Their service in rehabilitating patients in hospitals is also quite in demand. They have opportunities in acute hospitals and orthopedic settings too where the elderly are generally treated. One can establish private practice or work on contract services to schools, adult day care programs, nursing care facilities etc.
It is a highly valued profession in huge demand. It is a lucrative career; those with a bent of rendering meaningful service to the disabled with oodles of patience and love to make them succeed can opt this as a career and derive immense satisfaction.