Occupational therapists work with people who have difficulties carrying out various day to day activities because of disability, illness, trauma, ageing, and a range of long term conditions.
They see a huge variety of patients and help them with many different issues as an occupational therapist. Some examples of things you might work on include:
- helping someone adapt to life after major surgery
- helping people with a mental illness or learning disability with everyday activities such as work or volunteering
- helping elderly people stay in their own homes by providing adaptations such as level access showers or stair lifts
Variety is one of the most exciting things about being an occupational therapist. As well as seeing different patients and conditions you’ll also have the opportunity to work in a multi-disciplinary team in a range of settings from hospitals and clinics to charities, prisons and social services departments
They find solutions to everyday problems, for example:
- advising on how to approach a task differently
- using equipment or assistive technology
- adapting the living or working environment
- finding strategies to meet an individual’s goals
Illness, injury, disability or ageing can make ordinary tasks such daily care (washing, dressing, eating), work or education and leisure harder to do. You'll help people find ways to continue with activities that are important to them. This might involve learning new ways to do things, or making changes to their environment to make things easier.
As well as working with individual patients and their families, occupational therapists work with groups. They work in teams with other health professionals. They may also supervise the work of occupational therapy support workers.
Page last updated: September 2020
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