What Does An Occupational Therapist Do?

Does your child seem to get hung up on different issues with their friends at school? Do they get frustrated easily? Or, are you experiencing deep dissatisfaction at work, your social life, or even marriage? These may seem like disparate and completely unrelated problems, but they are actually some of the things with which a talented and dedicated occupational therapist can help you. 

Here are a few of the major tasks occupational therapists are often assigned, and who knows? Perhaps you’ll be inspired to research this profession more and become one!

A Diverse Toolkit

Occupational therapists deal with a variety of concerns throughout their careers. From assisting with brain injury rehabilitation to helping children deal with the death of a parent, individuals who choose this career often have a diverse toolkit in their arsenal, and possess the sensitivity required to handle a variety of issues. Essentially, through one-on-one sessions, much needed support and a problem-solving attitude, they can help people achieve their goals. Experts at Everyday Independence Occupational Therapy recommend everything from changing your environment to induce the results you’d like to see, to devising a personalized program to help you succeed. There are all sorts of tools occupational therapists employ to help others, and their services can be invaluable if you or someone you love is in need.

Interchangeable Titles (Not!)

There is a common misperception that equates occupational therapy with physical therapy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The thing is, physical therapy focuses primarily on bodily health and performance, whereas in occupational therapy, one is more concerned with cognitive and environmental factors. If you suffer from rheumatism or severe back pain, a physical therapist is in order. But, if you need to recover from a major car accident, you would require a more holistic approach—this is when the occupational therapist comes in. 

Child’s Play

The services of an occupational therapist are often required when a child needs help with developing his or her cognitive capabilities. Schools usually have one of their staff, or an external therapist which they recommend to concerned parents who really want to ensure that their child is getting the most out of their education. An occupational therapist can help a child deal with a plethora of learning disabilities or emotional problems in a gentle, understanding, and effective manner. 

End of Life Care

One of the sadder and more difficult jobs an occupational therapist may be required to handle is setting up the appropriate conditions for an ailing patient’s hospice care. End of life care is very important, and yet it remains a completely underrated service that occupational therapists selflessly offer. Providing nonjudgmental treatment in a patient’s last days is perhaps the most heroic act an occupational therapist can do.

Engaging the Senses

Finally, an incredibly valuable skills, occupational therapists possess is a way to engage all the senses when treating their patients—be they the elderly, children, war veterans, car accident survivors, and the likes. If a limb is missing, a therapist will deal with all the cognitive and emotional stress that could cause, as well as the physical burden. This approach has proven to be incredibly effective when dealing with tragedy.  

In some ways, occupational therapists deal with the hardest life events. It takes a lot of hard work and an immense amount of dedication to help people through every stage of their lives, yet, they are able to do so graciously and professionally. It’s probably one of the most satisfying career paths out there, and needless to say, their work is of incredible value to our community.

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