How occupational therapists can help people to get their day-to-day existence back on track - Getting a Job, Career Planning
"Recovering addicts, asylum-seekers and the homeless may not be seen as typical clients for occupational therapists, but as the public health agenda continues to expand into new areas, the stereotype of the occupational therapist (OT) teaching basket weaving or flower arranging on a quiet hospital ward couldn't be further from the truth.
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The aim of occupational therapy is to help people of all ages and backgrounds enjoy meaningful and independent lives, regardless of any physical, mental or social problems they may have. Although for many clients this will involve work and career issues, OTs are equally concerned with leisure pursuits and hobbies as well as day-to-day issues such as getting around or even personal care.
As Christine Taylor, occupational therapy lecturer at the University of Plymouth, puts it: "We're often confused with occupational health, but OT is concerned with much more than how people earn a living."
While the profession's role has tended to revolve around the needs of the NHS, social services and the voluntary sector provide new models, says Anne Lawson-Porter, head of education and learning at the College of Occupational Therapists, who believes the scope of the work in terms of clients and settings has never been wider.
"We're an interesting profession because our skills involve not only physiology and psychology, but social anthropology and societal changes too," she says.
"Helping people cope with the after-effects of an accident, a prison sentence, being thrown out of their home or suddenly finding themselves out of work offers practitioners enormous variety in terms of the types of people they treat and where.
"As more OTs choose to work in what we call 'role-emerging areas' such as specialist care homes, the voluntary sector or perhaps in private practice, the NHS may find itself competing for our talent in the future," she adds." (Continued via The Independent, Virginia Matthews) [Ergonomics Resources]