Having a disability or an illness can be tough in your daily life when it comes to doing your usual activities. Things like eating, bathing, or reading can be hard for people with special conditions, resulting in the future with problems and even trauma. However, not all is lost, as occupational therapists tend to find a way to help you.
These professionals are here to help you overcome your daily occupations through occupational therapy. This type of healthcare is focused on treatments specifically designed for every patient they encounter, so not every rehabilitation process is the same.
Everyone should have the opportunity to have fun and distract themselves, and medical conditions can be a wall stopping them. That is why we will talk more about occupational therapists and who they take care of. And if you want to become one, we will also tell you what you need as well as how much does it pay.
Purpose of Occupational Therapists
Whether the patient has an illness, a psychological condition, or a permanent disability, occupational therapists’ primary focus is to teach them and help them recover their normal lives.
In other words, through an examination of the condition of the patient, these therapists design a treatment plan. This plan mainly contains exercises, activities, and tasks to fulfill that aid to develop and improve skills that are useful for your daily life.
This support is available to everyone that is having a hard time dealing with common activities. Not only do they educate you to improve your skills, but also how to manage equipment like wheelchairs, or even create an environment suitable for your rehabilitation.
People that Occupational Therapists Give Medical Support
Experiencing a disability can be painful on the first days since you cannot do what you usually used to do easily. This also comes with learning problems or chronic health conditions, and if it happens to a child, they might suffer even more from these experiences.
Luckily, occupational therapists work with children, even at an early age. That way, they can start to create social tools to learn and grow with ease and happiness. Often the course of action can change to adapt to the conditions of the patients.
For adults and older people, the important thing to keep intact is their active self-esteem. To put it simply, exercises that keep the mind and body fresh so that they can work or have fun easily.
There are other ways that people of all ages can gain a healthy life and progress as a student, worker, or someone in the family. Occupational therapists will do everything to make you feel comfortable and get you past your physical and mental restrictions.
Not only that, but these therapist works in a diversity of places, from your usual hospitals to even providing home care or community houses.
How to Become One
It is not that simple, if you are interested in this branch of medical healthcare, you need to possess at least a master’s degree in occupational therapy.
Applying for a graduate program of this branch needs these requirements:
- Having a bachelor’s degree
- Having specific coursework (must include physiology and biology)
- Have worked in an occupational therapy setting
Furthermore, occupational therapists must be licensed. The process and requirements for licensing can differ on the state that you are currently in, but the candidates must pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination.
If you pass the exam, you will earn the title “Occupational Therapist, Registered”, meaning that you can now help people to recover their daily life.
Median Annual Pay
You should also know that occupational therapists receive a good median annual wage. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage was $86,280 in May 2020.
Keep in mind that the amount of wage also varies depending on the place that the therapist works in. Nursing care facilities are at the top with $92,260 where there is a lot of patients of all ages always coming for treatment. While at the bottom are elementary and secondary schools with $76,560 focusing primarily on children.
Assistants and Aides for Occupational Therapists
There is also the possibility of helping an occupational therapist by applying as an assistant or an aide. You will be doing the same as a therapist does, giving aid to people that cannot do their daily activities and helping them recover and improve.
For the job of assistant, it requires you to have an associate’s degree from an accredited occupational therapy assistant program. On the other hand, for aides, you normally need just your high school diploma and receive training.
This job is vastly available, but keep in mind that the assistants receive more money than aides, again according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics’ median annual wage studies.