Consider a Career in Occupational Therapy

This post answers the following questions

1) Why does independence is one of the greatest gifts a person can receive?
2) What are the things you need to look for in occupational therapy programs?
3) Why should you look for a program that has practical experience?
4) What to consider when when you’re looking for a program?
5) How will you will help them regain their independence?

Independence is one of the greatest gifts a person can receive. When we are young children, there’s nothing quite like the pride we feel the first time our parents let us go to the playground by ourselves. A few years later, we get our drivers licenses and the world and its opportunities seem larger than ever. Then we get our first job, and we are able to buy the things we want, provide for our families and live entirely independently.

But what if an accident took that all away?

Every day, people in the United States are stripped of their independence due to accidents. They slip and fall. They crash their cars. They’re injured by others and they can no longer work or do the day-to-day chores necessary to live independently. These people rely on occupational therapists to help them get back on their feet. If you’re a caring, energetic person who likes helping people, you should consider enrolling in one of the occupational therapy programs offered at colleges and universities.

Occupational therapy programs will prepare you for a challenging and rewarding career in which you help people who’ve suffered a disability learn and relearn the life skills needed to regain at least some of their independence. You might help them relearn to walk, talk, grasp and operate tools. You may help them rebuild the large and small motor skills it takes to drive again. You will help them regain their independence.

If you’re thinking about this type of career, here are three things you need to look for in occupational therapy programs.

Professors who are Leaders

You want to learn from the best. So when you’re looking for a program that’s right for you, consider the professors. Look for those who have the academic backgrounds and are also connected to the profession. Look for professors who are involved in the occupational therapy field–they write, they speak, they teach and they are leaders in the area. Those who lead will be better able to prepare you to succeed because they’ll have contacts and context they can share with you.

Curriculum

You don’t want a program that uses outdated curriculum. Look for a program that uses cutting-edge curriculum and techniques to give you the skills you’ll need to be successful.

Practical Experience

Theory is great – people can learn a lot from reading textbooks and listening to lectures. But what you want, and what the best occupational therapy programs offer, is real-world, practical experience. Look for a program that has extensive and rigorous clinic programs. This is where you’ll get to put the theories you studied in class to work with real people in the real world. It’s where you’ll learn the most.

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Patrick Whalen is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @2patwhalen.

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