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What does an Occupational Therapist do?

Do you have the desire to help people? Do you want a job working with patients to improve their daily lives? As an occupational therapist, you work with patients who have mental, physical, developmental or emotional conditions that are disabling to them. You can help improve their living and working conditions, and help them improve their daily lives.

Helping hands in the field

Skills required to be an occupational therapist include helping others via physical exercise, instruction of daily routines, using computers, and helping people organize and remember their lives. Organizational skills and problem solving skills may also come in handy. You may also need to be able to instruct patients on uses of machines used to help them in their lives, including those for patients who are physically disabled.

Life style improvements

You can choose what lifestyle and where you would like to work as an occupational therapist. You can chose to work with a group or on your own. You can specialize in working with one particular group of patients, or work with multiple different kinds of patients. You can work with mentally or physically disabled patients, and decide how you want to help them and ways to improve their lives for them to be more independent. You can work in a large rehabilitation center or one-on-one at patients' homes. You can work full or part time, as well as for multiple organizations at once.

Education in life improvement

Generally, you need a master's degree in occupational therapy to get a job. In addition, you must attend an academic program in order to sit for the national certifying exam. Coursework includes physical, biological, and behavioral sciences, as well as theory. Programs require 24 weeks of supervised fieldwork as part of the coursework to become an occupational therapist. High school courses in biology, chemistry, physics and health can be helpful before college. After college a license is required to practice in the field.

Moving up in life

You can advance as an occupational therapist to a supervisor at your chosen place of employment. You can also take on administrative roles if you work in hospitals, colleges, or rehabilitation centers in order to advance.

So if helping others in a variety of ways appeals to you, then occupational therapy can be an ideal job, where you can work around what you like to do, and help patients become more efficient in living their lives.

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