Occupational Therapy Essay, Research Paper
In today?s society, education and opportunity go hand-in-hand. Careers are now
requiring more research, more dedication and educational background to match. For
some people, hard work and sacrifice are enough to push them higher onto the safe
platform. But for others, the platform is unreachable due to a mental illness, handicap or
rehabilitation. That is where an occupational therapist steps in. The main goal of an
occupational therapist is to help disable people develop, recover or maintain daily lives
and work skills. This career is both demanding and rewarding, and more therapists are
choosing occupational as a career move.
Occupational Therapists can work in many different environments. Some Occupational
Therapist?s dedicate their time in pediatrics helping children overcome their disabilities.
Others work with the elderly, reteaching skills they have lost due to disease. Many
Occupational Therapist have investigated their career further as industrial therapists,
placing their patients in jobs and monitoring their patients in jobs and monitoring their
progress. A select few Occupational Therapist research new products and devices that
they feel will help their patients learn easier. Regardless what area they are working in, the
main focus of the Occupational Therapist is to help their patients recover and enable them
to perform everyday tasks easily.
When one decides to become an Occupational Therapist, there are many steps they need
to take in respect to education. During high school, students are encouraged to pay close
attention to biological sciences, psychology and social skills. During college, more in
depth hands on training is conducted. Occupational Therapist are required to have a
bachelor?s degree to enter the field. The Occupational therapist must then take a test to
receive their state certification, which is required in 36 states. Along with the education
and licensing, all Occupational Therapist should posses warmth and patience to inspire
both trust and respect. Individuals working in home health care must be able to
successfully adapt to a variety of settings (JIST 300, 169).
Areas of Employment
Occupational Therapists held over 40,000 jobs in 1992 (JIST 300, 169). These
Occupational Therapists work in hospitals mental health centers, rehabilitation centers,
nursing homes and job training services. Many Occupational Therapist have found
success in group or private practice, working with networks to refer patients.
A 40 hour work week is standard for Occupational Therapists. Some work longer hours
attending weekend seminars or events, volunteering for charities or checking in on working
patients. Occupational Therapists can experience both satisfaction and stress in
their career. The level of frustration in patients is high, especially those who are being
re-taught. There is a certain amount of attachment to patients, since their dependency on
the Occupational Therapist is great. The job can be rewarding also, teaching someone
how to walk again or how to talk. The Occupational Therapist is often seen as a key
factor in the results of the patient. Independent, positive life styles for their patients is what
their main goal is.
Occupational Therapists are in high demand. Some 16,000 jobs will open up for
Occupational Therapists by the year 2000 because of the aging of the population
(Kleiman, 208). In 1992, Occupational Therapist were making an average salary of
$29,767, but by the year 2000 the average salary jumps to $51,000 (Kleiman, 208). As
direct insurance reimbursement is allowed by states, Occupational Therapist will open
independent practices to provide follow up services (Kleiman, 208). Medical advances
are now making it easier for patients to survive there is a good number of Occupational
Therapists who in schools with children as teachers. Exceptional educational education
and adult educating are often done by Occupational Therapist due to their patient and
I interviewed Andrea Goldfarb, who is a licensed Occupational therapist working at
Health South in Sunrise. She first gave me a tour of the facility.
1). What made you decide on Occupational Therapy as a career choice?
A: I liked helping people, and when I interned at the hospitals in high school, I realized
these people who lost their limbs or couldn?t walk again needed further care. I asked to
be put with an Occupational Therapist, and enjoyed it very much.
2). Was the schooling difficult?
A: The certification boards had me studying a lot. There are so many details, and they
force you to make decisions on paper with out the patient in front of you. It?s definitely
challenging to balance a social life and school.
3). Do you think there will be a lot of openings for Occupational Therapist in the future?
A: Its a growing field. People are starting to realize that therapy and medicine can actually
help them. Doctors are so busy they need people to finish the job. I definitely see better
4). What is the most difficult part of your job?
A: Not always being able to help. Some people get so frustrated and quit, and you can?t
force them to get help. You get so close to them.
5). Do you see yourself in a private practice?
A: Eventually a group or private. Right now its nice to work with such a great staff. All the
pressure isn?t there to succeed. I can just deal one on one with my patients now.
6). What advice can you give me?
A: It can be competitive. Getting into a well established center isn?t easy. You need good
people to believe in your work, so you get referred and study for the boards. It?s worth
few weeks for a great job.