Occupational therapy is a term used to denote the practice of providing non-surgical treatment and professional care for the people with physical illnesses, emotional problems and mental disorders for their maximum functioning and well being in order to cope with their daily lives. This is a highly skilled health profession with the objective of maximization of occupational performance of patients with various physical, emotional, psychological and cognitive disabilities. Occupational therapy is gaining wide acceptance as a career choice among the students who are interested in a career in the health care industry.
There are several colleges and universities which offer diploma, degree and masters programmes in occupational therapy. After the successful completion of the relevant courses, students can join healthcare industry as apprentices. Major careers available in this field are as Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapist Assistants. Major employers of occupational therapy professionals include government hospitals, private hospitals, healthcare agencies, clinics, rehabilitation centers, mental health centers, private nursing homes, schools and colleges.
Occupational Therapists: are responsible for helping the patients to identify their problems by assessing their home and work environments, and accordingly design a customized patient care programme. They also provide guidance for the family members of the patients about the requirement of personal care and emotional support. A Masters Degree in occupational therapy is the minimum requirement to start a career as an Occupational Therapist.
Major career objectives of occupational therapists include devising and implementing patient specific treatment methods in order to enhance the physical and metal abilities of patients suffering from physical injury, developmental defects, psychological disabilities etc. Treatment methods include physical exercises, vocational activities, recreational activities, educational activities, counselling, and mental skill development activities.
Occupational Therapist Assistants: Candidates with a Diploma or a Certificate in Occupational Therapy can work as an Occupational Therapist Assistant. They work as assistants to occupational therapists to look after the patients.