Occupational Therapist Education

Written by Tara Peris
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Occupational therapist education can take many forms. At most schools, it consists of a combination of traditional academic classes, hands on training, and applied work in the community. With these three educational experiences under your belt, you are all set to begin work on your own, in one of medicine's most promising fields.

Occupational therapists draw on a vast amount of information to do their work effectively. They must know about anatomy and physiology, and the underpinnings of motor movements. They must also have an understanding of developmental norms that govern when we pick up certain skills, and an awareness of how injury impedes motor movement.

A Comprehensive Occupational Therapist Education
However, in addition to this academic subject matter, occupational therapist education must cover how to work with patients effectively. This is perhaps the most challenging aspect of the job, as you need to find a balance between nurture and compassion, and firm guidance when it comes to setting and meeting new goals. These interpersonal skills cannot be learned in a textbook.

Thus, a good portion of occupational therapist training is devoted to hands on learning experiences. By shadowing a licensed practitioner or participating in an internship in the community, students gain first-hand experience with the populations with whom they will eventually work. This is an essential part of the learning process, and one not to be overlooked or minimized.


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