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22 Aug 2018

How to become an Occupational Therapist

- Written by Chris

Becoming an Occupational Therapist is full of humbling rewards, as well as offering you an exciting and varied career. If you are someone who thrives to make a difference, enjoys some excellent employment prospects, and require a high degree of flexibility then becoming an OT could be the role for you! Being a sociable and confident person is also a great quality to have as you will be working with different patients every day to help improve their lives through adaptations and independence solutions.

What will your working life be like?

You will usually be working with people who have a range of difficulties in carrying out various activities due to disability, illness, ageing or trauma, as well as a range of long term conditions. Take a look what OT student Rachel Rule said to NHS about her role as an occupational therapist in training:

“Occupational therapy allows you to make a difference to people’s lives across the community which I something that really appeals to me about the career.”- Rachel Rule, occupational therapy student.

What will you be up to as an occupational therapist?

Seeing and helping a huge variety of patients with many different conditions is at the core of being an occupational therapist. Here are some of the things that you will be up to during work:

• Helping older people stay in their own homes by prescribing home adaptations – majority of these adaptations can be found in our wide range of brochures and downloads here.
• Helping those who are suffering with mental illness get back into everyday activities such as work and socialising.
• Helping people adapt to life after undergoing major surgery/surgeries

Most occupational therapists agree that the wide range of variety is one of the most exciting and enjoyable things about the role – as well as seeing different conditions in different patients, you also often get the opportunity to work in a multi-disciplinary team in a huge range of environments. These settings can include hospitals, clinics, charities, prisons and social services departments.

Quick thinking and problem solving are great qualities which play a huge part within occupational therapy – as you will be finding solutions to everyday problems like advising on how to approach a task slightly differently, and finding strategies to meet an individual’s goals, as well as using equipment or assistive technology and much much more!

How to become an occupational therapist

You will need to train and study at degree level. The entry requirements often vary depending upon where you would like to study your qualification but you can find out more in the NHS’s helpful health careers article here for useful information and links to get you started.

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