What does an Occupational Therapist do?
Occupational Therapists help people become more productive in life and conquer obstacles when experiencing difficulties trying to do day-to-day activities. They do this by helping patients with disabilities, illnesses, injuries develop, recover and improve skills necessary for working and daily living.
Some Occupational Therapists work with disabled children in educational settings. They evaluate disabled children’s needs and abilities, modify classroom equipment to accommodate specific disability and help them participate in school activities. Occupational Therapists also work with elderly people to help them lead more independent and proactive lives.
Occupational Therapist skills and qualifications
A successful Occupational Therapists candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications to perform their duties effectively, these include:
- Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
- Passion for helping people and improve their daily lives
- Open-mindedness and willingness to adopt new ideas and techniques
- Trustworthiness and ability to earn the respect of their patients
- Patience and the ability to provide high- quality care to their patients
- In-depth medical knowledge to recommend the right treatment plans for patients
- Ability to solve problems
- Ability to work well in a team and independently
Occupational Therapists experience requirements
Occupational Therapists must have several years of experience working in social care, health or a related field in wither a voluntary or paid role. Many employers prefer candidates who have shadowed a certified Occupational Therapist in charities, home shelters or residential homes. Some employers prefer candidates who have relevant work experience in more competitive areas of occupational therapy, such as paediatrics. Other employers accept candidates who worked at rehabilitation or occupational therapy assistant, support or technical worker level.
Occupational Therapists education and training requirements
Occupational Therapists must have a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy. Some employers prefer candidates with an MSc in occupational therapy, a postgraduate diploma in occupational therapy or a degree-level apprenticeship in occupational therapy. Occupational Therapists in the UK must be registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).
Occupational Therapists typically receive the training they need to perform their duties during their post-graduate internships. Most complete short on-the-job-training sessions to deepen their knowledge about their company’s workflows, procedures and processes.
Occupational Therapist salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of an Occupational Therapist in the UK is £33,550 per year. Their actual salary varies depending on factors, including their experience, education, geographical location and company.
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