Occupational Therapy job description

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Occupational therapy is concerned with the assessment and treatment of patients suffering from mental, physical, emotional or developmental conditions that are negatively affecting their everyday lives. The therapy may take place in hospitals, community centres and clients’ own homes and is aimed at helping people work towards a more independent style of living
Occupational therapists and therapy assistants work with individuals, families and communities, addressing both domestic and work-related issues, as well as those affecting leisure and self care. The work covers a wide variety of duties, from supporting those suffering from depression to helping victims of accidents adapt to their disabilities
Registered occupational therapists would need to have completed a degree or postgraduate course in occupational therapy approved by the HPC (Health Professions Council). Salaries start between £21,000 and £27,000, rising to £40,000 with experience. Assistants, who play a more supportive role in the therapy and do not usually need any specific qualifications, start at around £13,000, which could increase to £21,500 over time. Head positions begin at £30,000.

Description

Occupational therapy involves working with people so that they can better handle any mental, physical or social problem which they may have. Therapists work with clients in individual or group sessions. There are some who have clients throughout their lifetime or just for a couple months; depending on their progress or need.
Their clients include people who have depression, eating or weight disorders, mental and physical disabilities, brought on by a birth defect or physical accident. They assist or teach their clients how to do daily living activities, employ coping techniques for managing stress. They may move from one location to the next like health centres, rehabilitation clinics or operate from an office.
An Occupational therapist usually performs many of the following tasks:
• Teaching clients coping techniques
• Helping clients get over their injuries
• Monitoring clients development
• Talking with and educating family and friends
• Motivating clients
• Keeping and updating client record

Skills

• Being intuitive and creative
• Flexibility and good will
• Listening and teaching
• Organisation and administration
• Patience and motivation
• Prioritising and communication
• Professionalism and diversity
• Stress management and teamwork
• Time and patient management
• Tolerance and efficiency
• Writing reports and keeping records

Education

Any programme pursued in Occupational Therapy must be approved by the Health Professionals Council. These courses should be degree level, like a Bachelors, Masters or Post Graduate degree. There is even a College of Occupational Therapists that is aligned with the British Association of Occupational Therapists.
Persons who are not able to start at the degree level may begin as Assistants and support workers. First they may gain training and certification from the relevant HNC, BTEC, or NVQ course. Students will need to cover areas in Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Communication, Psychology, Behavioural Science, Care Management, or Therapeutic Interventions.

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