Monday, April 8, 2013

Occupational Therapy Month!

April is Occupational Therapy month, so today I want to talk a little bit about my job.  I know that a lot of people out there don't know what OT is, and I am always complaining that we get lumped together with physical therapists without getting any of our own credit!

Here is a good definition of OT from Mayo Clinic
Occupational therapists work with individuals who have conditions that are mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling. Occupational therapists assist individuals to develop, recover, or maintain daily living and work skills.

The word "occupation" comes from our belief that we all have "occupational roles" that contribute to who we are (i.e. mother, son, spouse, employee). The goal of an occupational therapist is not only to help clients improve basic motor functions, cognitive and emotional abilities to return to these roles, but also to compensate for loss of function. Their goal is to help clients have independent, productive and satisfying lives.
How does OT differ from PT? According to OTplan: 
Occupational Therapists (OTs) get patients back to doing everyday tasks. Occupational therapy focuses more on evaluating and improving a persons functional abilities.

Physical Therapists (PTs) assist patients with movement. Physical therapy focuses more on evaluating and diagnosing movement dysfunctions as well as treating a persons injury itself.

This is a hilarious (in my opinion) video that quite accurately describes OT and PT roles in a rehab setting.  You probably don't think it's funny if you aren't an OT, but if you happen to be an OT or a COTA (certified occupational therapy assistant), watch it!

OT is consistently ranked among the top careers every year:

7th best healthcare job in 2013  according to US News & World Report

7th best Master's degree for job in 2013 according to Forbes.

One of the top jobs for job security according to CNN.

Occupational Therapists can work in a ton of different settings, so it is sometimes confusing to explain to the general population.  OTs are working in hospitals, rehab centers, schools, pediatric therapy centers, skilled nursing facilities & transitional care units, specialized treatment facilities and home care, to name a few.  We can work with people of all ages from newborn to geriatric.  We evaluate and treat any physical, cognitive, emotional, behavior, sensory, social, developmental, or environmental limitations that interfere with a person's ability to function in any of their given roles.  If you read my blog, you know I work in a mental/behavioral health setting.  I work with the general mental health population at a large hospital, and with a very specialized population at an eating disorder treatment center.  If you want to know more about what I do, feel free to ask- I love talking about it!

1 comment:

  1. i love hearing more about your job!! Great idea for a post


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