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Occupational Therapist. January 2004. History Employment Requirements Training Personal Characteristics Job Outlook. Earnings Wages and Benefits Related Occupations Working Conditions Workplaces Tip of the Day Ethics. Table of Contents.
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Occupational Therapist January 2004
History Employment Requirements Training Personal Characteristics Job Outlook Earnings Wages and Benefits Related Occupations Working Conditions Workplaces Tip of the Day Ethics Table of Contents
Occupational Therapists help people improve their ability to perform tasks in their daily living and working environments. They work with individual who have conditions that are mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling. They also help them to develop, recover, or maintain daily living and work skills. Occupational therapists not only help clients improve basic motor functions and reasoning abilities, but also compensate for permanent loss of function. Their goal is to help clients have independent, productive, and satisfying lives.
History • Occupational Therapy began in the “age of enlightenment” in the 1700s. • The idea did not reach the United States until the 1900s. • Susan Tracy first began to apply this technique to the mentally ill, she helped form the backbone of modern occupational therapy.
Employment • OT’s held about 78,000 jobs in 2000. • The largest number of jobs was in hospitals • Other major employers were offices, clinics, school systems, home health agencies, nursing homes, mental health centers, adult daycare programs, job training services and residential care facilities.
Requirements • A bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy is the minimum requirement for entry. • To obtain a license, applicants must graduate from an accredited educational program, and pass a national certification examinations.
Training • OT coursework includes physical, biological, and behavioral sciences, and the application of occupational therapy theory and skills. • Completion of 6 months of supervised fieldwork is required. • Should take high school courses in biology, chemistry, physics, health, art, and the social sciences. • College admissions also look favorably at paid or volunteer experience in the healthcare field.
Personal Characteristics • OT’s need patience and strong interpersonal skills to inspire trust and respect in their clients. • Ingenuity and imagination in adapting activities to individual needs are assets. • Those working in home health care must be able to successfully adapt to a variety of settings.
Job Outlook • Employment of OT s is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through 2010. • Results of the growth- • A growth in the number of individuals with disabilities or limited function • The rapidly growing population 75 years of age and above • Medical advances now enable more patients with critical problems to survive, which may require extensive therapy
Job Outlook • Hospitals will continue to employ a large number of OT s to provide therapy services to acutely ill inpatients. • Hospitals will also need OT s to staff their outpatient rehabilitation programs. • Employment growth in schools will result from expansion of the school-age population and extended services for disabled students. • Therapists will be needed to help children with disabilities prepare to enter special education programs
Earnings • Average earning for OT s in 2000 were $49,450 a year. • The middle 50% earned between $40,460 and $57,890 a year. • Nursing homes $51,220 • Hospitals $50,430 • Schools $45,340
Wages and Benefits • Beginning wages start between $1,300 and $3,500 per month • Experienced therapists earn a monthly range of $2,100 to $4,500 and up. • Most employers give a benefit package including retirement plans, insurance plans, vacation and sick leave.
Related Occupations • Chiropractors • Physical therapists • Recreational therapists • Rehabilitation counselors • Respiratory therapists • Speech-language pathologists
Working Conditions • Usually work 40 hour weeks • About 1/3 of OT ‘s work part time • In large rehabilitation centers, therapists may work in spacious rooms equipped with machines, tools, and other devices generating noise. • Job may be tiring because therapists spend lots of time on their feet
Working Conditions • Those providing home health care may spend time driving from appointment to appointment • Also face hazards such as back strain from lifting and moving clients and equipment • Usually well-lighted, heated, clean rooms • May have contact with sick or injured people
Workplaces • Hospitals • Schools • Nursing Homes • Offices
Tip of the Day • Use good body mechanics • Sit rather than stand when working • Use larger joints when possible • Listen to your pain, pain is the signal that you are overdoing • Conserve energy by balancing work with rest
Code of Ethics • Occupational Therapy personnel shall demonstrate a concern of well being for the recipients of their services. • Occupational Therapy personnel shall take responsible precautions to avoid imposing or inflicting harm upon the recipient of services to his or her property. • Occupational Therapy personnel shall respect the recipient and/or their surrogates as well as the recipients rights.
Code Of Ethics • Occupational Therapy Personnel shall achieve and continually maintain high standards of competence. • Occupational Therapy Personnel shall comply with laws and association policies guiding the profession of occupational therapy. • Occupational Therapy Personnel shall provide accurate information about occupational therapy services.