Occupational Therapists

Health Science > Therapeutic Services

Projected Growth: Much faster than average

10500+
Projected Job Openings

Extensive Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to persons with disabilities or developmental delays.

Common job titles of Occupational Therapists include:
.

Experience and Education

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

  • 71.43% said they needed a Master's Degree.

  • 19.05% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

Essential Tasks

    Evaluate patients' progress and prepare reports that detail progress.

    Train caregivers in providing for the needs of a patient during and after therapy.

    Plan, organize, and conduct occupational therapy programs in hospital, institutional, or community settings to help rehabilitate those impaired because of illness, injury or psychological or developmental problems.

    Lay out materials such as puzzles, scissors and eating utensils for use in therapy, and clean and repair these tools after therapy sessions.

    Recommend changes in patients' work or living environments, consistent with their needs and capabilities.

    Select activities that will help individuals learn work and life-management skills within limits of their mental or physical capabilities.

    Test and evaluate patients' physical and mental abilities and analyze medical data to determine realistic rehabilitation goals for patients.

    Complete and maintain necessary records.


Regular Tasks

    Advise on health risks in the workplace or on health-related transition to retirement.

    Design and create, or requisition, special supplies and equipment, such as splints, braces, and computer-aided adaptive equipment.

    Help clients improve decision making, abstract reasoning, memory, sequencing, coordination, and perceptual skills, using computer programs.

    Consult with rehabilitation team to select activity programs or coordinate occupational therapy with other therapeutic activities.

    Plan and implement programs and social activities to help patients learn work or school skills and adjust to handicaps.

    Provide training and supervision in therapy techniques and objectives for students or nurses and other medical staff.

    Develop and participate in health promotion programs, group activities, or discussions to promote client health, facilitate social adjustment, alleviate stress, and prevent physical or mental disability.


Occasional Tasks

    Provide patients with assistance in locating or holding jobs.

    Conduct research in occupational therapy.

Tools

Wobble switches

Wheeled walkers

Wheelchairs

Weights

Voice output communication aids

Video magnifiers

Video cameras

All Tools

Trackpads

Trackballs

Tongue switches

Switch use tools

Splints

Soldering irons

Single-cut mill saw files

Sewing machines

Scooters

Saws

Resistive exercise bands

Pulleys

Pressure care garments

Power sanders

Power drills

Portable scanning pens

Personal digital assistants PDA

Personal computers

Orthotics

Mechanical stethoscopes

Manual blood pressure cuffs

Looms

Lift chairs

Lathes

Laptop computers

Joy sticks

Hoists

Goniometers

Gait and transfer belts

Exercise balls

Electronic blood pressure units

Electric wheelchairs

Electric knives

Drill presses

Computer switch interfaces

Braille printers

Alternative computer keyboards

Adjustable beds

Adaptive cutlery

Technologies

Facebook

BillingTracker

Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR System

Casamba Smart

Computer drawing software

Crick Software Clicker 4

Duxbury Braille Translator

All Technologies

FileMaker Pro

HMS

Internet browser software

Language arts educational software

Lexrotech LxPediatric

Math educational software

Mayer-Johnson Boardmaker

Music software

OpenOffice WRITER

Physical education educational software

Rehab Documentation Company ReDoc Suite

Science educational software

Screen magnification software

Screen reader software

Social studies educational software

Special education educational software

Speech recognition software

Spreadsheet software

Synapse Adaptive Connect Outloud

Tactile graphic production kits software

Text reader software

Text scanning software

Skills

Monitoring

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Service Orientation

Actively looking for ways to help people.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking

Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Writing

Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Coordination

Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Instructing

Teaching others how to do something.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Persuasion

Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Operations Analysis

Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Negotiation

Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

Management of Personnel Resources

Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Abilities

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Information Ordering

Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Originality

Come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Knowledge

Psychology

Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Therapy and Counseling

Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Medicine and Dentistry

Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

Education and Training

Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

English Language

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Sociology and Anthropology

Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

Biology

Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Real People, Real Stories


Would you look at that! Unfortunately, we don't seem to have any real life stories related to Occupational Therapists.

Perhaps you'd like to be the first? If so, let's talk about featuring your story!