There are many reasons why occupational therapy is cited as one of the most exciting and rewarding career paths. Being able to make a real, tangible difference to people’s lives is a wonderful thing, so no wonder occupational therapy jobs are in such high demand! You may not have considered dedicating your life to helping others, but many people in the sector will tell you that while it is hard work, OT brings a tremendous amount of job satisfaction.
Described as an integration of both art and science, occupational therapy is essentially helping people who have suffered or are suffering from mental or physical problems with their everyday activities, thereby helping them to recuperate. It is not the same as pure physical therapy, as occupational therapists also concentrate on improving the overall wellbeing of the patient.
There are 11 different areas within the field of OT, some of which include children and young people’s services, mental health, caring for elderly people and caring for people with learning disabilities. Due to the broad spectrum of specialisms, occupational therapy jobs can act as a passport to a vast array of practices including clinical, health and social care, management and academia. OT can also help you develop transferable skills you’ll be able to use in other areas of your life. Here are a few ways helping others can help you:
Therapists deal with a huge variety of people in their careers and develop excellent communication skills as a result. They might need to explain complex treatment plans clearly to patients one moment, then speak professionally to doctors and coworkers the next.
Compassion and Empathy
Unlike other kinds of therapy, OT is holistic. This means treatment is concerned with improving all aspects of the patient’s life. People who are warm, understanding and who genuinely care about the wellbeing of others are the best candidates for occupational therapy jobs. A big heart is a great starting point but a job in OT can also help you develop your emotional quota because you’ll be practicing compassion, patience and kindness every day.
Assessing people’s physical and psychological condition in order to plan and deliver a thoughtful treatment pathway requires sufficient organisational skills. Over time, occupational therapists learn to organise their own schedule and their individual clients, as well as paying close attention to that of coworkers and doctors too.
Although some people believe creativity is innate, many occupational therapists will attest otherwise. Problem solving is a hugely important part of occupational therapy jobs. No two patients are the same and what works for one person may not work for another, so it is important to think outside the box and forgo tried and tested methods.
Do you know anyone that works in this field?