Occupational Therapist Jobs Dubuque IA
Management, Admin & Clerical, Light Industrial
East Dubuque, IL
How to become an Occupational Therapist
An occupational therapist treats patients who have experienced an illness or injury and require help to improve their ability to function more normally in both living and working environments. An occupational therapist can also be known as a physical therapist.
In order to become an occupational therapist, you must be licensed which requires a Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy, plus 6 months of fieldwork, and a passing grade on state and national exams. In high school, the basic required courses would include the sciences of biology, chemistry and physics along with health, art and social sciences.
A Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy is the minimum entry requirement into the field. Most schools require full-time study but there are some that endorse weekend or part-time study programs. Following this career path involves dedication and a strong desire to help people.
While in school, students will study courses in anatomy, biology, psychology, anthropology, liberal arts and sociology. As a provision of licensing, completion of six months of supervised fieldwork is also required.
Students who graduate from an accredited occupational therapist program must then pass a national examination in order to obtain the designation of Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR). Some states may have additional requirements.
According to the United States Department of Labor, there were over 99,000 occupational therapists working in the United States in 2006. The majority of these therapists were employed by hospitals. In January 2008, the career of occupational therapist was named in the U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Careers of 2008.
Occupational therapists can choose to specialize in many areas including pediatrics, vision or hand therapy, physical rehabilitation and sports.
What does an Occupational Therapist do?
An occupational therapist helps people with their physical disabilities as well as learning new skills or helping them adapt to permanent losses. They may work with patients who have suffered from a mental, physical, developmental or emotionally disabling condition. An occupational therapist helps clients to improve their basic motor functions with the goal of having greater independence.
Occupational therapists can assist patients in performing many types of activities including everyday things such as dressing themselves, cooking or eating. Physical exercises can be used to increase the strength and dexterity of a patient while a computer exercise program can be used to help a patient with hand-eye coordination or perceptual skills.
Occupational therapists can also help patients adapt to using equipment such as a wheelchair or eating and dressing aids. Occupational therapists can specialize in working with a particular age group or people that have a particular disability. Such an example would be working with the elderly to help...