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CBSE Guess > Education > Career Options > Occupational Therapy

Careers in Occupational therapy

Careers in Occupational therapyOccupational therapy is a health profession that focuses on helping individuals with mental or physical illness/disabilities to achieve the highest level of functioning and wellness possible in their daily lives. In other words occupational therapy is skilled treatment that helps individuals with disabilities, achieve independence in all facets of their lives. This includes performance of all daily normal activities in work, play, leisure etc.

Occupational therapists (OT's) work with those who have physically, mentally, developmentally, or emotionally disabling conditions. They help patients identify imbalances they may have in their lives and design activities to deal with them. This type of therapy is patient specific, involving recreational, creative or educational activities. The patient's specific interests, his background, his previous experiences also form an integral part of treatment.

OT's area of work includes giving customized treatment programs for specific disabilities, evaluating home and work environments and giving recommendations for necessary adaptation, recommending adaptive equipment for permanent/temporary loss of function, such as wheel chairs, splints, aids for eating and dressing needed for the patient and training them in its use, assessing and recording the patients progress periodically and also giving guidance to family members and care givers how to care for the patient.

Occupational therapists use various methods in the treatment of their patients to assist them in maximizing their potential in the categories of occupational performance areas and occupational performance components. The term occupational performance area refers to all activities of daily living, such as grooming, dressing, food preparation and eating, communication, and mobility; work activities, including home management, care of others, educational activities, and vocational activities; and play or leisure activities. The term occupational performance component refers to the functional abilities required to perform the tasks of daily living. These abilities include sensory motor, cognitive, and psychological components.

A wide variety of people can benefit from occupational therapy, including those with

  • work-related injuries including lower back problems or repetitive stress injuries
  • limitations following a stroke or heart attack
  • arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or other serious chronic conditions
  • birth injuries, learning problems, or developmental disabilities
  • mental health or behavioral problems including Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress
  • problems with substance use or eating disorders
  • burns, spinal cord injuries, or amputations
  • broken bones or other injuries from falls, sports injuries, or accidents
  • vision or cognitive problems that threaten their ability to drive
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