Should You Opt to Pursue an Occupational Therapy Career?

<P>Working in the field of occupational therapy is different than physical therapy because this therapist also helps improve a patients mobility, dexterity and quality of life as they manage their disability or injury. The therapist takes a holistic approach in regard to how they care for patients. There are two career options; an assistant or a therapist. Assistants that are fresh out of occupational therapy classes can be trained as they continue studying or they can remain in the assistant role. Since the occupational therapist must have a masters to work in the field, assistant positions are becoming more popular since the amount of school needed.</P> <P>When it comes to the occupational therapy licensing you must continue to take classes to maintain the license.  These can vary slightly from state to state and some can be tailored to the type of work you do.  Continuing education is required to keep your license up-to-date. Depending on the focus of the practice that you have, you may want to seek more specific training on those aspects of treatment.  For example, if you are working with elderly people, classes on mobility and managing the habits of daily living, like cooking and dressing can be the best to add to your expertise.</P> <P>Occupational therapy classes can be useful to keep up-to-date with the most recent advances in treatment.  New occupational therapy tools might even be highlighted in some classes and workshops. Actual occupational therapy tools are often used in therapy. These can be used for sensory stimulation, tools that reach and grab, like one to pull up socks and another to get packages opened.</P> <P>When it comes to occupational therapy treatment ideas, consulting with treatment team members can help to envision different options. The treatment ideas that are being used can vary from one patient to the next and are based on best practices. Once the initial consultation with the patient is completed, the plans can be outlined and a time frame assigned. The occupational therapy treatment ideas can also come from reputable sources from the internet like and others. Developing a repertoire of treatment ideas is a great way to be able to tailor activities for patients and to try another approach should one not work as you have planned.  Having the ideas at your fingertips can make you a sought after therapist.</P> <P>Occupational therapy can be a rewarding career and the opportunities to work in various settings like hospitals and clinics and even private practices or chiropractic offices offers a variety like never before in the profession.  Work in senior centers and those who specialize in Alzheimers support have also evolved because they offer more treatments to the residents and their families. There are nearly always opportunities in rehab centers and in sports medicine facilities. If the training that you received seems  a bit out-of-date, seeking out other classes and workshops can add to your expertise and may, in fact reenergize you in the profession.</P> <P>With the requirement of the masters degree, perhaps offering to support a student while she performs an internship can teach you as well as offer a great clinical for that student.  Some hours may count for license renewal or as credit for you to take classes at the college/university that you contract with.</P> <P>Todays occupational therapists have more facilities to work in and different opportunities to pursue.  Learning new approaches to treatment and being able to share it with a treatment team can make you a popular team member and one that is known for her professionalism.</P>

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