What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants provide intervention to individuals to assist in helping achieve independence in their everyday activities, such as work and self-care routines. It is a health profession designed to help people regain and build skills that are important for health, security, and happiness. Possible situations that warrant occupational therapy could be accident-related injuries, recovery after elective surgeries, work related injuries, and health conditions or disease that have made it difficult for one to complete their daily activities. Physical disabilities, repetitive injuries, and developmental difficulties are specific examples of when occupational therapy is beneficial. Occupational therapy intervention involves education, modification and adaptation of routines, use of therapeutic activities and exercises to improve one’s function and improve their quality of life. 

Currently, occupational therapists are completing masters and doctorate level degrees for education and occupational therapy assistants complete associate level degrees. Both require fieldworks that involves on-site clinical education and to pass an examination of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. Occupational therapy practitioners are found in settings like outpatient rehabilitation, hospitals, schools, mental health centers, skilled nursing homes, home health agencies, and physician practices.