What Do Occupational Therapists Do: Job Description, Responsibilities and Duties

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daily life of an Occupational Therapist
are Occupational Therapists happy with their job

Occupational Therapists

Other names for this job might include Assistive Technology Trainer, Early Intervention Occupational Therapist, Independent Living Specialist, Industrial Rehabilitation Consultant, Industrial Therapist, Job Trainer, Occupational Therapist (OT), Occupational Therapy Co-Director, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Registered Occupational Therapist


  • $81690
    Salary
  • 77%
    Job satisfaction
  • Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

A+



Being An Occupational Therapist: What You Really Do


In this job description guide, you will find out what do Occupational Therapists do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as an Occupational Therapist or not.



Job summary

Occupational Therapists assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to persons with disabilities or developmental delays.

We asked Occupational Therapists how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

77%

How meaningful is this job

91%


77% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 91% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical day

On a daily basis, Occupational Therapists Complete and maintain necessary records. They Evaluate patients’ progress and prepare reports that detail progress.

1 of the main responsibilities as An Occupational Therapist is to Test and evaluate patients’ physical and mental abilities and analyze medical data to determine realistic rehabilitation goals for patients.

Some may also Select activities that will help individuals learn work and life-management skills within limits of their mental or physical capabilities.

In a normal work day, another thing that Occupational Therapists do is they Plan, organize, and conduct occupational therapy programs in hospital, institutional, or community settings to help rehabilitate those impaired because of illness, injury or psychological or developmental problems.

In addition to that, they Recommend changes in patients’ work or living environments, consistent with their needs and capabilities..

A typical day for An Occupational Therapist look like this:

Record patient medical histories.
Monitor patient progress or responses to treatments.
Prepare reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities.
Evaluate patient functioning, capabilities, or health.
Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.

We asked some Occupational Therapists a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?62% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?76% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?62% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?95% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?38% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?48% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?5% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?57% said yes



Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Occupational Therapists do, they Consult with rehabilitation team to select activity programs or coordinate occupational therapy with other therapeutic activities. They might also Help clients improve decision making, abstract reasoning, memory, sequencing, coordination, and perceptual skills, using computer programs.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Occupational Therapists Develop and participate in health promotion programs, group activities, or discussions to promote client health, facilitate social adjustment, alleviate stress, and prevent physical or mental disability. and Provide training and supervision in therapy techniques and objectives for students or nurses and other medical staff.

In addition, they Design and create, or requisition, special supplies and equipment, such as splints, braces, and computer-aided adaptive equipment.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Plan and implement programs and social activities to help patients learn work or school skills and adjust to handicaps.

To some Occupational Therapists, it is also their responsibility to Advise on health risks in the workplace or on health-related transition to retirement.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
Design public or employee health programs.
Train medical providers.
Supervise patient care personnel.
Design medical devices or appliances.
Fabricate medical devices.



Working life

Working hours

40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)


In a typical work week as An Occupational Therapist, you can expect to work 40 hours per week.

Do Occupational Therapists work in an office-style work environment?

Everyday
90.48%

Once a week
4.76%

Once a month
0%

Once a year
0%

Never
4.76%

Do Occupational Therapists work in a warehouse-style work environment?

Everyday
4.76%

Once a week
0%

Once a month
14.29%

Once a year
28.57%

Never
52.38%

Do Occupational Therapists work outdoors?

Everyday
0%

Once a week
4.76%

Once a month
14.29%

Once a year
23.81%

Never
57.14%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Helpers and The Thinkers


You can read more about these career personality types here.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

You also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.



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Rank: A+
Salary: $83940

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Rank: A
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They demonstrate and teach patient care in classroom and clinical units to nursing students. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.
Rank: B+
Salary: $46060

They plan, direct, or coordinate medically-approved recreation programs for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or other institutions. Activities include sports, trips, dramatics, social activities, and arts and crafts. May assess a patient condition and recommend appropriate recreational activity.
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Salary: $65220

They teach courses pertaining to recreation, leisure, and fitness studies, including exercise physiology and facilities management. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.
Rank: A+
Salary: $112950

They teach courses in health specialties, in fields such as dentistry, laboratory technology, medicine, pharmacy, public health, therapy, and veterinary medicine.






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Career type

Healthcare and Medical
Health Informatics, Therapeutic Services

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Learn more about Occupational Therapists

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Salary
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Is This Right For Me

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Related to Occupational Therapists Job Description

Occupational Therapists job description, what do Occupational Therapists do, typical day for Occupational Therapists, what is it like to work as an Occupational Therapist, how many hours do Occupational Therapists work, day to day work of an Occupational Therapist

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm
http://www.aota.org/

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Occupational Therapists
Written by: Stanley Tan
Occupational Therapists assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to persons with disabilities or developmental delays.
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