Occupational Therapy: A Promising Career Options To Consider


has a 10-year-old child that is not able to use washroom on his own. He is also
a slow learner. She and her husband Mike visited several clinics and sought
intervention from several child specialists but nothing helped. One fine day a
school teacher friend asked her to see an occupational therapist. Since then
things are continuously improving. There is a huge demand for occupational
therapists worldwide. But before we proceed further, let us understand what
occupational therapy is?

occupational therapy

is Occupational Therapy? Meaning

therapy can be defined as a kind of therapy that helps people across the age
groups to live life to the fullest. Such a therapy helps children and adults to
get certain skills to perform certain activities that are essentials for life. Some
of the common occupational therapies include helping children participate in
social or school activities, helping people with injuries recover fast and
helping old aged people going through the physical changes.

What Does an Operational Therapy Do?

occupational therapist has a vast array of roles to do. They work with the
people of different age groups to help them enjoy their life fully. A therapist
has several roles to perform in order to improve, recover and adjust to recent
changes in their life.

occupational therapist assesses the patients, their condition and finds out
what needs to be done.

a professional also needs to devise a treatment plan so that objectives can be

an occupational therapist also needs to visit a patient’s home and workplace so
that a better treatment strategy can be made.

role also encompasses providing training to patients and their attendants as
they must be included in treatment for better results.

periodic evaluation make development reports.

work with children in schools and classroom settings to help them perform

may suggest you to replace an existing device with a new one to help patients
do their daily chores comfortably.

Does an Occupational Therapist work?

occupational therapist works in a number of different settings depending on the
requirements. There are times when they find employment in academics, homes,
hospitals, schools and communities. Here it is worth noting that occupational
therapists are very flexible when it comes to their work setting.

Types of Specialization

The services of an occupational therapist are required in various fields. These
are required for old aged, children, schools and households. Here, we give a
description of the major specializations in occupational therapy.

Aquatic Therapeutic Exercise

aquatic therapeutic exercise, a therapist guides a patient to exercise in
water. Such an exercise helps them get improved mobility, better coordination
and good muscle tone. Such an exercise is performed in pools or tanks and
involves multiple exercise that include stretching, strengthening, balancing
and several other practices that might prove beneficial for the client.

it is worth noting that not every occupational therapist is entitled to perform
these exercises.

therapists who work with clients in the water to help them increase mobility,
coordination, and muscle tone should earn an Aquatic Therapeutic Exercise
Certification (ATRIC). This certification proves their training in aquatic
therapy principles and methods, movement mechanics, and safety and risk
awareness strategies.


people face several problems where an occupational therapist has a role to play.
These cases are treated under geriatric occupational therapy also called
gerontology. Such an occupational therapist looks after the health of elderly
without the use of medicine. A geriatric occupational therapist engages a
patient in some occupation to get the desired results. It is contrary to
conventional therapy where medicine is administered. An occupational therapist
achieves the desired results by making changes in the home and work environment
of the aging individual. For example, changes are made in the bathroom, stairs
and other places of home. There are a good number of reasons why a gerontology
is required. There are times when people don’t want to step out of their homes
due to old age and in that case a change in their environment is required. Some
medical conditions like arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease also warrants for
assistance from an occupational therapist. Disabilities caused due to injuries
or some other reasons also require attention.

Health (BCMH Certification)

mental health occupational therapist specializes in preparing wellness and
prevention plans for patient suffering from mental health conditions. An
occupational therapist plans tasks, suggest ways for emotional control,
decision making and problem solving. Such practitioners help people suffering
from mental health conditions like grief, sadness and negative emotions to
complex mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Apart from the mental
health issues in adults and a mental health occupational therapist is also
entrusted with the task of assisting with the mental health issues in children
as well where they help children suffering from autism and sometime helping
children with juvenile diabetes. As a mental health occupational therapist,
they have to look at patients’ illness conditions, how they cope, their medical
needs and devise a therapy regimen that best suits their needs. Sometimes
children have multiple issues some of might be related to their development and
transition into adulthood. Such a situation calls for an experienced
occupational therapist.

Occupational Therapy

neuro occupational therapist is entitled with the task of helping a patient get
movement or independence after a brain injury, major surgery or a trauma. Such
a therapist help patients get back to normal life and guide them to perform
their daily chores. Such a neuro occupational therapist work with physicians,
physiotherapists, speech therapists and other experts to get the desired
results. A neuro occupational therapist uses several therapies that include
aquatic therapy, energy conservation and body mechanics for the benefit of the

Occupational Therapy

difference between psychiatry occupational therapy and neuro occupational
therapy is very fine. While neuro occupational therapy works on injury or
trauma related issues, psychiatric occupational therapy focuses more on
behavioral aspects. A psychiatry occupational therapist prepares programs so
that a patient can perform day to day activities like personal hygiene,
grooming and home management. The work of an occupational therapist is not
limited to preparing plan but also assessing and evaluating the improvement. To
make the recovery faster they keep an eye on the patient’s environment that
includes home, work, schools and other places that comes in contact with the
patients work environment.

Occupational Therapist


and Community Mobility

s occupational therapist is one of the most sought-after occupational
therapists as it helps with the issues faced by the children through their
development stage. There are times where children face problem with the motor
skills. Some children face difficulty in tracking an object or face a hand eye
coordination issue, and an OT has a good role to play here. Apart from that, a
pediatrics occupational therapist also helps children that are slow at
learning, acquiring social skills and self-care. People trained in this occupational
therapy works with hospitals, schools and social service organizations.

Rehabilitation Occupational Therapist

occupational therapist plays a significant role in physical rehabilitation and
make a patient independent. Such a therapist works on improving arm and hand
function, helping people with memory issues and improving hand-eye coordination
wherever it is required. Such an occupational therapists works with patients
suffering from musculoskeletal disorders, neck and back injury, spinal cord
injuries and cancer rehabilitation among the others. Such an occupational
therapist finds employments with big hospitals, specialty clinics.

and Community Mobility

mobility can be referred to as moving from one place to another in a community
using transportation using bus, taxy, cab, cycle or just walking on the feet.
The mode of transportation may vary but the basic goal is to participate in
moving from one place to another. You may be a passenger in a car or be driving
a car or motorcycle on your own. Here an occupational therapist has a great
role to play as they are trained to assists with driving and community
mobility. Such an occupational therapist assesses passenger safety, needs of
general passengers and passengers with special needs, ability to ride a vehicle
and negotiate the curbs and traffic, and ability to negotiate with road signs.

at any stage an occupational therapist finds that a particular mode of
transport is not sufficient or a driver needs retraining, an OT suggests solutions
for it. The solution may include modifying the vehicle, providing cognitive
training to drivers, and providing solution to make their transportation safe.


environmental occupational therapist makes modifications in home to make it
helpful for old patients. They suggest structural changes in the house so that
old patients can carry out their daily chores efficiently. Changes are made to
make the house more accessible. Sometimes environmental modifications are needed
for children as well to increase their safety and productivity. Such an
occupational therapist works with architects and builders to modify stairs,
handrail, bathrooms and showers to make it more accessible for patients. An
occupational therapist must be qualified enough to bring out these changes.

Eating, and Swallowing

eating and swallowing are essential skills for human survival. There are times
when some children face problems in carrying out these activities. Such a
situation needs and intervention from an occupational therapist or an
occupational therapist assistant. Such problems are most common in children
where they stiff their hand and shows the lack of alertness during feeding.
Sometime they refuse to eat food or even when they accept the feeding process
is quite time consuming. Difficulty in chewing and difficulty in breastfeeding
are some of the common examples. If your child is also facing such a problem,
you should take him to a pediatrician who will examine your child and may refer
it to an occupational therapist.

Vision Occupational Therapy

aged people often face several vision related problems. One such problem is low
vision. Sometimes these problems can’t be corrected by medicine, lenses and
surgery. Here an occupational therapist can make arrangement so that such a
patient can live life actively with reduced risk. An occupational therapist
helps people with low vision in several ways. He suggests different kinds of
lighting that can be used for better vision of individuals so that accidents
and injuries can be averted. Reskilling patients could be another way to help
patients. The patients can be taught new skills like eccentric viewing and
other visual techniques. The efforts are not limited to this, as the therapist
may went on to change the task or environment.

Based Occupational Therapy

school based occupational therapists play an important role in school
education. They help students achieve their goals and enjoy their chosen career
path. They help students better their social skills and perform better in
chosen subject by helping them read and write well. The role of an occupational
therapist also encompasses improving social behavior, participation in sports
and using the transport with safety. As these therapists are skilled in school issues,
they can help students with curricular and extracurricular activities. They
work with students on the individual basis and in the group level as the
situation demands. The role of an educational therapist is not just limited to
students only. Instead, they work with parents, teachers and special educators
to make it more effective.


hand therapist is an occupational therapist that deals with the problems of
hand or upper extremity.  In this
occupational therapy a hand therapist assesses the condition and suggest a
treatment plan accordingly. A hand therapy occupational therapist helps
patients to rehabilitate after a hand surgery. Apart from the post-operative
care they also work for preventive care or industry consultation. Such
therapist works with physicians or surgeons to improve the condition of
patients. In case of surgery, the therapy starts just after the surgery and
continues till the person returns to work. A hand therapist takes into account
several issues related to children, adults and old aged. Right from mobility
issues to handwriting, personal care to grooming and access to different parts
of the home a hand therapist makes life easy for several patients.


literal meaning of Hippotherapy is the use of horse riding as a part of
therapy. Such an occupational therapy is performed under an experienced
hippotherapist or and equine therapist. This therapy is very effective in
several types of psychological disorders that includes schizophrenia, depression,
anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among the others. This
therapy may not be enough alone but it works well in combination of other
therapies. A ride on the horse guided by an equine therapist improve patient’s
mental condition.







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