Occupational therapy is skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve independence in all facets of their lives. It gives people the "skills for the job of living" necessary for independent and satisfying lives. Services typically include:
- Customized treatment programs to improve one's ability to perform daily activities
- Performance skills assessments and treatment
- Comprehensive home and job site evaluations with adaptation recommendations
- Adaptive equipment recommendations and usage training
- Guidance to family members and caregivers
Occupational therapy practitioners are skilled professionals whose education includes the study of human growth and development with specific emphasis on the social, emotional, and physiological effects of illness and injury.
The occupational therapists enter the field with a bachelor's degree. Practitioners complete supervised clinical internships in a variety of health-care settings
Beside hospitals occupational therapists are employed in the offices of other health practitioners (which include offices of occupational therapists), public and private educational services, and nursing care facilities, outpatient care centers, offices of physicians, individual and family services, community care facilities for the elderly, and government agencies.
A small number of occupational therapists are self-employed in private practice. These practitioners see clients referred by physicians or other health professionals or provide contract or consulting services.
Occupational therapists need patience and strong interpersonal skills to inspire trust and respect in their clients. Ingenuity and imagination in adapting activities to individual needs are assets. Those working within the community must be able to adapt to a variety of settings. Occupational therapy is a profession for both male and females but predominated by female practitioners.