Occupational therapy is a healthcare profession that helps people with physical, developmental, or emotional disabilities lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives.
An occupational therapist (OT) is part of the multidisciplinary rehab team. They often direct these types of care:
Evaluates children with developmental or neuromuscular problems. Helps plan treatments that will help them grow mentally, socially, and physically
Helps adults learn how to do activities of daily living (ADLs) at home, on the job, and in the community.
Helps the elderly adjust to the special problems of aging while remaining physically and mentally active
Advises changes in layout and design of the home, school, or workplace to give people with disabilities greater access and mobility.
Teaches energy conservation and work simplification methods.
Improves communication skills, such as reading, writing, and using the phone.
OTs work in many settings, such as:
Inpatient rehab centers
Outpatient rehab centers
Long-term care facilities
Home care settings
OTs hold a master's or doctoral degree. They are certified by the American Occupational Therapy Association.