What is an Occupational Therapist and how do you become one?

An Occupational Therapist is a healthcare professional that focuses on helping individuals of all ages engage in meaningful and purposeful activities.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy is an is an allied health profession, which empowers individuals of diverse ages and capabilities to achieve their goals and engage in everyday tasks and activities to improve their overall quality of life.

What does an Occupational Therapist do?

The role of an Occupational Therapist can vary, some typical responsibilities include:

  • Evaluating patients

Occupational Therapists engage directly with patients to comprehend their requirements, limitations, and backgrounds. This evaluation is key as it helps to develop plans, form cases and prepare reports for other professionals. The initial evaluation session typically marks the first time a patient meets their Occupational Therapist to begin treatment or assistance.

  • Promoting participation in everyday activities

Occupational Therapists collaborate with individuals to identify and address barriers that hinder their ability to engage in daily tasks. These activities may range from self-care, such as bathing and dressing, to more complex tasks such as work, school and leisure pursuits. By focussing on the individuals unique goals and needs, Occupational Therapists develop interventions that facilitate participation and independence.

  • Improving overall well-being

Occupational Therapy recognises the interconnectedness of physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Therapists assess and address physical impairments, cognitive challenges, and emotional factors that may impact an individual’s ability to function optimally. By incorporating therapeutic activities, exercises, and interventions, Occupational Therapists aim to enhance overall health and wellbeing.  

  • Enhancing quality of life

The overall goal of Occupational Therapy is to improve the quality of life for individuals facing various health challenges. This involves not only addressing specific impairments or disabilities but also considers the individuals aspirations, preferences and social context. Occupational Therapists work to maximise independence, boost confidence and foster a sense of accomplishment, contributing to an overall improved quality of life.

  • Creating treatment plans

Based on the details collected during the evaluation stage, treatment plans are crafted to outline a set of activities, milestones, and goals for the patient. The aim of these plans is to provide a clear path for improvement and support for the individual. For instance, a treatment plan might consist of various exercises or activities designed to enhance the patient's strength or coordination.

How do I become an Occupational Therapist?

Becoming an Occupational Therapist typically involves a combination of education, practical experience and registration with a regulatory body. Some of the general steps include:

  • Obtaining a degree in Occupational Therapy that is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
  • After completing your degree, you will need to register with the HCPC. This ensures that you meet the necessary standards for education, training and professional skills that are needed being an Occupational Therapist.
  • Gaining relevant work experience, either paid or voluntary, in a healthcare or social care setting. This helps to provide a valuable insight into the profession, as well as helping to demonstrate your commitment.

Looking for your next Occupational Therapist position?

Here at Archer Resourcing, we have great Occupational Therapy opportunities across the UK.

Click here to view our latest vacancies or call us today on 01473 939670 and a member ofour Healthcare Team will be happy to discuss the roles we have available.

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