What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is the practice of holistic and occupation based approach. It addresses everything from physical, social, and psychological factors that can get in the way of our functioning.  The goal is to help patients become skilled enough to live productive and independent lives, to improve the quality of life, and to avoid hospitalization. The goal is by taking activities designed for occupational therapy that will help the patient reach their maximum level of function.  Occupational therapy can be used to treat many different symptoms. The list includes spina bifida, and other birth defects, muscular dystrophy, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, autism, broken bones and other injuries from falls, sports injuries, or accidents, brain and spinal cord injuries, hand injuries, post-surgical conditions. This is short list of things that occupational therapy and be used for.

Occupational therapy is proven to be a career with a wide range of opportunities.  Occupational therapist can work anywhere. Common place for them to be hired into are long-term-care facilities and/or skilled-nursing facilities and nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, wellness education programs and private practices. With all of those different opportunities they have the chance to work with people in different career fields, like physicians, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, case managers. Regardless of the setting everything is focused around the patient and what will help them reach success.

There are six broad fields for an occupational therapist. One is working with rehabilitation and disability. Another is working with the elderly and promoting productive aging. Working with children and youth is another field. Mental health is yet another field with could lead to one working at a psychiatric hospital. Health and wellness if a fifth field and the sixth is work and industry for whenever someone gets hurt on the job. With each of these different fields it give occupational therapist the opportunities to reach out and help a wide range of people.


Work Cited:

Alic, Margaret, and Brenda W. Lerner. "Occupational Therapy." The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Ed. Laurie J. Fundukian. 4th ed. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale, 2011. 3136-3140. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.

Occupational Therapy. (2010). In Black's Medical Dictionary, 42nd Edition. Retrieved from