Occupational Therapist

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The primary goal of Occupational Therapists is to enable people to participate fully in the activities of their everyday life.  Occupational Therapists assess the functional limitations of people resulting from illnesses and disabilities, and provide therapy through the use of activities, specialised skills and equipment, to assist people in regaining their abilities and live with meaning and purpose.

Occupational therapists often work as part of an integrated healthcare team. They work with clients in both public and private sectors in a wide range of practice settings including general hospitals, rehabilitation centres, supported employment services, mental health services and in specialised programs for children, elderly people and people with developmental disabilities. They also work in industry, in the fields of occupational health and rehabilitation.

Occupational therapists may specialise in areas such as:

  • Aged care: providing programs and equipment for people with medical and social problems associated with ageing.
  • Disabilities: working with people who have an intellectual, physical or sensory disability through planned activity programs over long periods of time.
  • General medicine: working in hospitals or private practice to assess and treat individuals with physically disabling diseases or injuries.
  • Occupational health: assessing the safety of work environments and injured workers, providing rehabilitation and advice on adaptations to the workplace.
  • Health promotion: assisting people who want to achieve a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
  • Paediatrics: working in hospitals, private practices or schools to assess and treat children with disabilities, developmental delays or learning difficulties.
  • Psychiatry: assessing and treating individuals with mental illness and behavioural disorders through programs involving such things as stress management.
  • Vocational rehabilitation: assisting injured workers to return to work.

Occupational Therapists require a degree in Occupational Therapy and board registration.