Occupational therapists (OTs) help people who have conditions that are mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling improve their ability to perform tasks in their daily living and working environments. They also help them develop, recover, or maintain daily living and work skills.
Currently a bachelor`s degree in occupational therapy is the minimum requirement for entry into this field. Beginning in 2007, however, a master`s degree or higher will be the minimum educational requirement.
- assist clients in performing activities of all types;
- use physical exercises to help patients increase strength and dexterity;
- use activities to help patients improve visual 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, i.e. children, the elderly, or may work in specialized settings, i.e. mental health.