School of Health Professions
HomeHealth ProfessionsOccupational Therapy

The Profession

Occupational therapy is a challenging profession that calls on the therapist to use clinical reasoning and creative abilities to meet the unique needs of clients. Occupational therapists work collaboratively with individuals, families, and caregivers whose life patterns and ability to engage in valued daily activities has been disrupted as a result of various circumstances (e.g., cognitive or developmental problems, injury or illness, social or emotional deficits, or the aging process). The focus of occupational therapy is to positively influence the health and well-being of individuals so that they can participate in meaningful, purposeful activities (i.e., occupations). Occupational therapist use clinical reasoning and therapeutic skills through a process of occupation-based evaluation and intervention within varied contexts (e.g., home, school, workplace, community, hospital, clinic). For example, an occupational therapist may help a child with autism participate fully in school and social situations; may help a person recover from hand injury in order to return to work; may help a person with mental illness manage a daily medication routine; and may help an older adult who experiences physical and cognitive changes following a stroke resume household tasks.

For more information about the profession of occupational therapy visit: http://www.aota.org/Education-Careers/Considering-OT-Career.aspx.

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