An occupational therapist (OT) is the patient and kind person who treats injured, ill or disabled patients and helps children with developmental disabilities through the therapeutic use of daily activities.
As an OT, you help patients with disabling illnesses or injuries re-engage in daily activities. That means you work with patients who may be recovering from a head injury, stroke or car accident to relearn how to dress independently, style their hair or even play cards again. OTs focus on education and functional training rather than on pharmaceuticals or surgical intervention. Working with physicians, nurses, physical therapists and many other healthcare professionals, you help patients get back to living their best life as much as possible.
If you’re interested in becoming an OT, after earning a bachelor’s degree, you’ll need a master's degree from an accredited occupational therapy program. In addition to classes in anatomy, assistive technology, medical and social conditions, patient care concepts and research methods, you’ll need about 24 weeks of field experience.
All OTs are required to be licensed, which in addition to completing an accredited occupational therapy program and fieldwork, a passing score on the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam.
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Many ways to make a difference.
When you think about healthcare, your thoughts likely turn to doctors and nurses, and caring for patients. Career opportunities in healthcare today are not only in high demand they are also highly diverse – spanning a range of specialist areas and different settings from home to hospital. For many healthcare positions you can get your start with a certificate, and advance your career with an associate or bachelor’s degree.
Additional In Demand Careers in Health Sciences
Texas Labor Market Information, Texas Workforce Commission. Statewide wages by occupation, 2021. Statewide projections by occupation, 2020-2030.