Common Occupational Therapy Work Settings

Remember when you were a child and well-meaning family and friends asked you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” No matter what you said then, today your answer is an occupational therapist (OT). You want to help people learn how to walk again or brush their teeth or work on fine motor skills and learn to operate a computer again. You also enjoy devising individualized care plans for patients and enjoy keeping expert records. On the flip side, you may be wondering where in the world you might find employment. I’m glad you asked!

The World Is Your Oyster

According to experts at Baker College, the places where you can make a difference in people’s lives—from children to seniors—is vast, and you can make a living in this industry almost anywhere you choose to live. Let’s explore some options:

Hospitals

As you might suspect, hospitals provide beds for patients in a variety of health crises. A patient may have been in a debilitating car accident, suffered a heart attack, or declined due to a disease or chronic illness. Doctors will treat immediate symptoms, but doctors rely on occupational therapists to help their patients relearn basic skills such as feeding themselves, communicating, and walking. The goal is to ensure the patient will be safe when they go home. As you can see, the work of the occupational therapist is an essential part of the medical team. It’s so critical, in fact, U.S. News & World Report lists it as one of the top 100 jobs.

Medical Offices

Occupational therapists can also work in medical offices that offer their services. If you prefer a smaller environment than a hospital, this might be the place for you. Not only will you have the support of other professional in your field, but you will also have equipment at your disposal.

Schools

If you are a person who resonates with children, especially developmentally challenged young people, working in a school may be the cat’s meow for you. You will partner with educators to develop accommodation plans for special needs students and help them find success. Visit the OT Toolbox for activities that you can employ to help in the areas of fine motor development, sensory integration, and developmental milestones, to name just a few.

Clients’ Homes, Rehabilitation Centers, and Nursing Homes

An elderly person is anyone age 65 or over. Did you know that in America the elderly comprise just over 15 percent of the population? According to the Administration for Community Living, this age group is growing at a much faster rate than the younger set. The elderly may live at home, in nursing homes, or live temporarily in rehabilitation centers. In short, the elderly have their own unique set of challenges and needs. One area that can be very detrimental to an older person is falling. A fall can lead to serious injuries. Occupational therapists provide life-sustaining care where the elderly live and help them regain strength and skills to live as independently as possible.

What Do I Do Now?

If you are serious about finding meaningful work in any of these settings, Pioneer Healthcare is here to help. Trying to find a job as an occupational therapist can be daunting. We look forward to hearing from you. Together we can find a place—whether it’s a hospital, school, medical office or nursing home—where you can use your training to improve the lives of others, from age 9 to 99.

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