Career as Occupational Therapist

Stream : Health Science
Sub Stream : Occupational therapy

WHO IS AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST?

An occupational therapist is responsible for providing medical help and/or rehabilitation to individuals suffering from functional disabilities that prevent them from leading fully functional and healthy, independent lives, in the workplace and/or at home.

These patients’ disabilities generally stem from physical or mental illness, aging, developmental problems, and/or emotional problems. 

Occupational therapy employs various exercises and physical and mental activities meant to challenge and thereby further improve and develop motor and sensory perception, judgment and problem-solving skills, cognition, hand functions and hand-eye coordination.

Patients with physical limitations that cannot be healed or cured are taught how to circumvent those limitations in order to manage everyday activities and work-specific tasks independently, sometimes through physical or mental exercises, and sometimes by using specially designed devices.

 

JOB RESPONSIBILTIES OF AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST-

On a typical day an occupational therapist will:

  • Assist clients in performing activities of all types;
  • Use physical exercises to help patients increase strength and dexterity;
  • Use activities to help patients improvevisual acuity and the ability to discern patterns;
  • Use computer programs to help clients improve decision-making, abstract-reasoning, problem-solving, memory, sequencing, coordination, and perceptual skills;
  • Design or make special equipment needed at home or at work;
  • Develop computer-aided adaptive equipment and teach clients with severe limitations how to use that equipment in order to communicate better and control various aspects of their environment;

Occupational therapists may work with particular populations, for example children or the elderly, or they may work in specialized settings including mental health.

 

WHAT QUALITIES ARE REQUIRED?

While looking for a job, we search about the responsibilities, scope, qualification etc required for a particular. But we often forget the most important factors  i.e career interest, Aptitude and personality, needed to be considered, while applying for a job. 

Some of the basic aptitude, personality and interest required to succeed in this career are-

INTEREST

APTITUDE

PERSONALITY

Physical

  • As a occupational therapist you have to serve the clients throughout the day, travel from one area to another and stand by the side of the patients irrespective of the time and duration.
  • So physical strength is quite a major requisite

Social-

  • You never know what kind of client you are going to deal with, as disorders can happen to anyone and they may need your assistance. Thus, being an occupational therapist, you should be flexible enough to work with a wide variety of people. You must have the ability to establish a good inter-relationship bond with them

                   Imaginative-

  • Many times you have to modify the tasks and schedule of the patients.
  • For example, you can take a desolate kid to have fun at an amusement park, instead of taking him to a general rehabilitation center.
  • Your creative methods can help the clients come out of the dilemma, and it may result into their active participation
 

Formation-

  • Besides being a good listener, a successful occupational therapist must also be a good observer and analytical. S/he should have the ability to analyze the situation and needs of the patients along with handling their complaints. 

Deliberate-

  • One should opt occupational therapy as a career only if s/he is empathetic and compassionate. Most of the clients of occupational therapy are not only physically disabled but also, mentally and emotionally sensitive. 

 

EDUCATION-

 

 

INSTITUTE-

Institute of Public Health & Hygiene- New Delhi.

K.M.C.H. College Of Occupational Therapy- Coimbatore

All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation- Mumbai

Christian Medical College- Vellore 

College of Allied Health Sciences,

Manipal Academy of Higher Education- Manipal 

Institute Of Physically Handicapped- New Delhi 

National Institute For the Orthopedically Handicapped- Kolkata

Occupation Therapy Training School- Mumbai

 Swami Vivekananda National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research- Cuttack (Orissa)

 

JOB PROSPECTS

  • Occupational Therapists have multiple career options in medical and fitness arenas.
  • They can work in hospitals, private clinics, health centres, polyclinics, rehabilitation centers and psychiatric institutions. Special schools, community mental health centers, residential care facilities, adult daycare programs and sports teams are also preferred places for Occupational Therapists.
  • NGOs are also a good option for these professionals.
  • Occupational Therapists have ample opportunities for self-employment.
  • They can work independently for providing health care facility to household and schools.
  • They may also be involved in ergonomic consultations in industries and work places and architectural arenas for greater accessibility by the disabled.

 

REMUNERATION

The salary varies greatly depending on location, experience and whether the position is in the public or private sector.

O Fresh pass-outs can get a monthly salary of Rs 8,000-10,000. However, in private sector pay packages are quite higher, which may range from Rs 15,000 to 25,000 per month depending upon skill and experiences.

Occupational Therapists working independently also can earn handsome amount, which can be something between 20,000 to 1 lac per month.

According to one source, PayScale.com, the average annual pay for a physiotherapist in India might range from Rs. 93,957 to Rs. 7,14,762.

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