What Makes an Occupational Therapy Career So Rewarding?

Helping children with physical and mental challenges using occupational therapy can lead to a more satisfying and productive life as they grow into adulthood. Occupational therapists can gain enormous personal dividends from their contributions to these individuals.

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What Makes an Occupational Therapy Career So Rewarding?

Oliver Feakins is the co-administrator of Allied travel Careers at http://www.alliedtravelcareers.com. He assists traveling healthcare agencies to locate qualified rehab therapists including PTs, OTs and SLPs.

Are you a student of occupational therapy who has recently graduated or is expecting to graduate soon or within the next year? This article may provide recent graduates, projected grads, or licensed and practicing OTs with some occupational therapy inspiration. Graduates and professional occupational therapists have the ability to make a real difference in patients’ lives and get them on the road to recovery. Passionate, people-centered occupational therapists will go far in their careers, as they have the ability to improve and transform their patients’ lives.

The United States is currently experiencing a high demand for occupational therapy practitioners, and the need for therapists is growing, especially in school settings where children require therapy to prepare them for mainstream schooling. OTs will find an ongoing need for occupational therapy professionals to aid children in critical points in their development. Many children suffer from a variety of different conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, hearing difficulties, and vision impairments. These young patients can make enormous progress working with therapists.

Young children who are unable to stand, hold their heads upright, talk, or eat by themselves make enormous progress through rehab therapy programs. Spine straightening, swimming, working with exercise balls, joint manipulation, and applied pressure are all commonly administered therapy treatments. One mother says of her child’s condition before he received therapy, “He was stiff and he cried all the time. His hands were balled up. It was hard to bend him, hard to hold him” Patience and routine therapy can improve a child’s condition and advancement in school and life. Early treatment and therapy can result in a more mobile adulthood, and is essential in guiding patients through difficult surgeries, such as eye and hip. Occupational therapy can also teach children how to communicate through eye and body movements if they are unable to speak.

The demand for occupational therapists is so strong that it has created staffing challenges throughout the U.S. In order to fill staffing gaps, many facilities hire OTs through staffing agencies that specialize in staffing occupational therapy travel jobs. These are temporary positions that allow an occupational therapist to accept an assignment on contract at a location of their choice. As a traveling occupational therapist, one can select an assignment and combine a love for travel and new experiences with the desire to make a difference. Many school systems offer summer sessions of therapy and these are excellent opportunities for OTs to travel and in particular are an excellent way for special-needs children to learn new skills and advance their development during the months between school.

Any occupational therapist can be exceptional in their career if they are driven and passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and adults. Every child is capable of learning, growing, and developing. Occupational therapists deal with unique needs, culture, and lifestyle of patients. Though often a challenge, an occupational therapy job can be an emotionally rewarding experience, as you’re helping patients reach their full physical potential. As an OT, you’d be transforming lives by working with people to get their life back on track, aiding patients to go back to work, school, or be able to enjoy hobbies and leisure activities.

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The review "What Makes an Occupational Therapy Career So Rewarding?" was last updated on 19/08/2009.