Become An Occupational Therapist

Written by Tara Peris
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Become an occupational therapist if you are interested in helping people to recover from serious injury. This medical career is focused on rehabilitation, and on assisting patients in learning to perform daily living tasks. Although the nature of these tasks will vary depending on a person's level of functioning and personal goals, they are often referred to as "occupations."

The idea behind occupational therapy, or OT, is partly functional. Specifically, people with disabilities must learn to function as independently as possible. However, the broader philosophy of OT is also oriented toward helping people to find a way to do the tasks that give their life meaning. Thus, you are helping on multiple levels.

Reasons to Become an Occupational Therapist
In addition to these foci, one reason to become an occupational therapist is that it will allow you to work with diverse populations. Typically, patients include those who have been in car accidents, or who have sustained some form of physical or cognitive injury. However, individuals with developmental delays also participate in OT, as a way of enhancing motor skills.

Medical training to become an occupational therapist is quite easy. Usually, people complete a one to two-year educational program that consists of both traditional didactic techniques as well as hands on training. This is a rich and rewarding career, and one well worth exploring if your goal is to help people in an outpatient setting.


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