What Types of Jobs are Available for Occupational Therapists?

Occupational TherapistsIf you would like to work in occupational therapy, you should research the types of jobs available for occupational therapists so that you know which title you want to hold. As an occupational therapist, it will be your job to use a variety of different proven therapies to help your patients recover illnesses and injuries so that they are able to regain the skills and abilities that they need to thrive in social or professional settings. There are a wide range of different settings that you can work in, from college campuses to skilled care facilities. Depending upon your level education and the setting you work in, there will be different opportunities available to you, according to the American Occupational Therapy Association. Read on, and find out about the best types of jobs available in the field.

Occupational Therapists in Hospital Settings

If someone suffers from an illness or injury that leads to a hospitalization, a hospital therapist will be assigned to work with that patient. It is extremely common for occupational therapists in private and public hospitals to perform comprehensive evaluations of patients once they have undergone a surgery. It is typically the therapist’s responsibility to work closely with the recovering patient post-op and help them regain strength in their limbs so that they can get back on their feet quicker.

Home Health Aide with Health Services Firms

If you would prefer not to work in a hospital setting where your patients may be uncomfortable, you may want to consider studying to become a home health aide. Health services firms hire aides and then assign them to help patients who need rehabilitative support, but would prefer to get that support in their own home. While home aide typically work with the elderly, it is possible to work with younger patients who have been discharged from the hospital, but still require regular therapy. You will essentially be a mobile professional with a traveling office where you will store your supplies.

Nursing Home Therapists in Skilled Care Settings

As people age, they are prone to injury. Since there is a growing population of aging Baby Boomers, the demand for nursing home therapists is on the rise. Therapists who work in nursing homes, long-term care centers, retirement homes or other skilled care facilities will work with elderly patients who live in an assisted care setting permanently and need therapeutic intervention to live more comfortably or to be more mobile. In this setting, you will collaborate with staff and physicians, review medical records, and then use methods that you feel are best to intervene. You may be able to work directly for the facility or you could choose to become an independent operator where you take on several patients at different centers or locations.

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Occupational therapy is a rewarding field where you can help people live better lives and also earn a great living. While you can work in public and private settings, there is a wide range of titles that you can choose from where you will either be an employee or your own boss. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand in the field will grow by 29% by 2022. Since this is much faster than average, it is the perfect time to begin earning your degree so that you are qualified for all of the types of jobs available for occupational therapists.