In the same way that the demand for different forms of health care has continued to increase, the demand for occupational therapists (OT) has not been left behind. In fact, it has been projected that by the year 2016, the demand for OT employees will exceed the demand for workers in any other employment sector.
Occupational therapists work with persons dealing with physical, mental, developmental and emotional challenges. The OT seeks to help such persons improve their living conditions and work skills so that they can lead a life that is as close as possible to that of someone not having such conditions.
An occupational therapist will assist patients to perform activities aimed at improving their strength, dexterity, vision, energy efficiency and decision-making ability. There are many ways to do this.
For instance, an OT can train patients on how to effectively use computer programs or computerized equipment for solving problems. The fact that the OT is as effective as their ability to make patients have a better quality life makes it one of the most fulfilling careers one can get into. What's more, an occupational therapist earns a substantial salary depending on the industry and geographical location they are employed at.
What does it take for one to become an occupational therapist?
Well, this therapist typically holds a masters level degree in occupational therapy. The OT's undergraduate degree can be in biology, liberal arts, anthropology, psychology, anatomy, human development or sociology. In addition, an OT must sit for and pass a national certificate examination (known as the National Board Certificate in Occupational Therapy) from an accredited training school for him or her to be certified as an occupational therapist and allowed to practice.
One's choice of the academic and training institution attended is key to ensuring that not only is the quality of learning at par with market demands but also that the institution has a good reputation in the healthcare job market.
Academic work is just part of the training. For occupational therapists, looking for opportunities where they can get an internship or volunteer to work hand in hand with the experienced OTs can give them a leg up when they do apply for a permanent position. The internship will start to give them a feel of the day to day challenges an OT must face.
One thing a newly trained therapist will realize when they get into the work environment is the need to be tolerant and understanding. This is informed by the broad range of persons they have to handle each with their own unique physical, mental, emotional and developmental challenges.
Given the diversity of work environments a therapist can work in, an Internship also allows the OT to start to determine which industry they would want to work in.
If this sounds like a career you are interested in, then by all means do more research on it. This can easily be done by visiting websites covering this career in more detail. There is nothing left than to get started.
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