Individuals who are interested in entering the medical field have many options available that will offer long-term job security.
Even if you do not want to attend college for 8 more years after graduating high school, there are still several opportunities available in the medical industry that can be very rewarding.
One of the most popular non-physician medical career choices in the US is a career in Occupational Therapy.
What is an Occupational Therapist?
An occupational therapist is a professional who help their patients participate in everyday activities by use of intervention therapy.
This can range from helping small children with disabilities participate in school and other social settings to helping older adults continue with their normal everyday routine after they begin experiencing physical or cognitive changes.
This can be due to normal limitations that we all go through as we get older, or due to a recent accident or injury that the patient needs to recover from.
An occupational therapist has the opportunity to work in a variety of settings including the patients home, where the patient works, or at school.
In these settings they can provide recommendations to employers and teachers on adaptive equipment and additional training that can help the patient successfully achieve their goals.
Services Provided By an Occupational Therapist
The services that an occupational therapist provides include, but are not limited to, providing an individual evaluation of the patient where the patient, their family members and the therapist works together to come up with a solid plan to meet the individual's goals.
They also provide a custom intervention designed to help improve the patient's ability to perform everyday tasks and offer an outcome evaluation that ensures all goals are being met and to make changes if necessary if they are not.
How Do I Become an Occupational Therapist?
Along with meeting the specific state licensing requirements, individuals hoping to go into the OT field will need to have a Master's degree or higher in Occupational Therapy.
There are optional certifications available that can help enhance training in certain areas such as working is children in a school setting.
Some employers may prefer an applicant have at least 1 to 2 years of experience in the field before being hired.
The key skills that any OT professional should have include excellent communication and interpersonal skills, compassion for others, patience, and strong writing skills for completing evaluations.
Additional requirements may include taking a CPR or Basic Cardiac Life Support class to be certified in those areas.
Becoming an occupational therapist is an excellent way to get started in the medical field. Training does not take very long to complete, and once you have achieved your goals you will be on your way to a secure and stable career that is very rewarding.