Being employed in the medical field can be very rewarding and satisfying. One job opportunity in this field is occupational therapy, which involves helping people learn or relearn how to do everyday tasks through participation in activities.
Occupational therapists often help people with mobility problems or recovering from injuries. These professionals’ work schedules vary and are flexible, which is a significant advantage of working in this field.
There are several advantages of pursuing this career path, which we will discuss today.
What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy is a medical treatment that focuses on helping people with movement and coordination issues to find ways to complete everyday activities. Occupational activities involve the basic tasks people perform in their daily lives to operate independently.
Occupational therapists assess the requirements of patients by examining their medical records and create a therapeutic plan to assist patients in regaining their everyday skills.
Occupational therapists create strategies to assist patients in functioning as best as possible despite having an incurable disability. They frequently provide services in hospitals, long-term care facilities and other healthcare settings.
What do occupational therapists do?
Occupational therapists assist individuals of all ages with physical and mental impairments and diverse abilities. They start by speaking with the patient, educators, relatives or caretakers to comprehend the patient’s requirements.
Afterward, the medical team evaluates the patient’s physical, sensory, emotional and cognitive functions to develop objectives and an action plan. The OT and patient collaborate to build and refine abilities, and they continually assess the patient’s progress.
If you’re interested in pursuing this rewarding career, American International College offers OTD programs online. The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) has accredited American International College.
American International College’s Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate boosts your authority as an expert in the field, sharpens your knowledge and guides and motivates the new generation of occupational therapists. It is tailored to meet the needs of master’s degree-holding occupational therapists who wish to pursue a doctorate while continuing to practice.
Benefits of pursuing a career in occupational therapy
Below are some of the benefits of pursuing a career in occupational therapy, both professionally and personally:
Enhancing patient quality of life
Working as an occupational therapist allows you to improve the lives of those you work with significantly. Many individuals receiving occupational therapy have gone through physical and mental health issues that impede their ability to participate in regular activities.
Assisting individuals to overcome these issues and recover autonomy can boost a person’s confidence and sense of worth. Patients often become more confident when placed in a therapeutic setting.
Occupational therapy also allows individuals to develop skills that will help them achieve their full potential. In addition, these activities help improve communication and participation with others.
Building and strengthening relationships with patients
Occupational therapists who enjoy interacting with people appreciate the patient-oriented structure of their work. The sessions with clients are typically longer and more involved, and it is not uncommon for clients to return until they have successfully improved upon their physical capabilities.
This allows therapists to build a rapport with their clients and become more familiar with their needs as time passes. Patients often show gratitude for their therapy, which empowers them to become independent again.
Integrating technology into work tasks
Occupational therapists relish incorporating cutting-edge technology into their therapeutic plans and practices. They can use various types of technology, such as smartphone apps and robotic rehabilitation devices.
Therapists can suggest using adaptive products and innovative home technologies to assist patients in their daily lives at home. They may also employ technology to keep track of patients’ fitness tracking devices and add the data to their medical records.
They may even use smartphone apps to ask patients about their moods and track changes in their condition.
Taking advantage of flexible work opportunities
Occupational therapists have the advantage of being able to work in a range of different settings, allowing them to pursue a career path that suits their individual needs.
Examples of work settings include nursing homes, special needs care facilities, schools, hospitals, medical clinics and adult care facilities. Occupational therapists can also practice privately from their own office or home.
They may also provide therapy to people who have difficulty leaving their residences.
Working in a low-stress environment
Working in healthcare can be very demanding, but occupational therapy provides a less stressful atmosphere than other areas of the medical field.
Occupational therapists provide therapy to patients with health conditions who are stable enough to participate in regular treatment.
The daily tasks are not physically demanding or taxing, and the feeling of helping and providing comfort can outweigh the emotional strain of dealing with patients’ ailments and injuries.
Gaining experience in healthcare
Working in occupational therapy may enable you to acquire experience in the healthcare sector with relatively fewer educational requirements compared to some other roles.
A career in occupational therapy offers an opportunity to grow your professional skills while gaining experience through many personal pursuits.
For one thing, gaining experience will allow you to better prepare for challenges. A person with understanding is more likely to take on new tasks and responsibilities that might have been previously too overwhelming for them.
Applying problem-solving skills
When practicing occupational therapy, you may encounter distinct difficulties depending on the requirements of each person. This job provides an opportunity to utilize problem-solving abilities to develop solutions for every patient’s unique circumstances, depending on their state and desired outcomes.
In this position, you will use your sound judgment and compassion to improve your patient’s quality of life through the therapeutic process. You will work with a wide variety of individuals and families. You will encounter severe medical, physical, mental and emotional conditions.
Occupational therapy services for people with disabilities can significantly enhance their satisfaction, independence, safety, quality of life and functional ability. Providing these services empowers individuals to improve their everyday living skills.
Adding occupational therapy professionals to the existing interdisciplinary medical and rehabilitation team can help promote collaboration and combined intervention planning, positively and substantially impacting patients and the healthcare system.