Department of Occupational Therapy

Work Environment About this section Occupational therapists may spend a lot of time on their feet working with patients. To sit for the NBCOT exam, candidates must have earned a degree from an accredited educational program and completed all fieldwork requirements. Theoretical basis of occupational therapy 2nd Ed. What is the best way to get an interview? Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. Experiential Therapist Certification Driver's License. Occupational Therapy for Physical Dysfunction 6 ed.

About half of occupational therapists work in offices of occupational therapy or in hospitals. Others work in schools, nursing homes, and home health services. Therapists may spend a lot of time on their feet while working with education: Master's degree.

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The profession also began to assess the potential for the use of trained assistants in the attempt to address the ongoing shortage of qualified therapists, and educational standards for occupational therapy assistants were implemented in New developments in the areas of neurobehavioral research led to new conceptualizations and new treatment approaches, possibly the most groundbreaking being the sensory integrative approach developed by A.

The profession has continued to grow and expand its scope and settings of practice. Occupational science , the study of occupation, was created in as a tool for providing evidence-based research to support and advance the practice of occupational therapy, as well as offer a basic science to study topics surrounding "occupation".

Furthermore, occupational therapy practitioners have been striving personally and professionally toward concepts of occupational justice and other human rights issues that have both local and global impacts. The World Federation of Occupational Therapist's Resource Centre has many position statements on occupational therapy's roles regarding their participation in human rights issues at http: WFOT facilitates the development of global practitioners by creating educational competencies, partnering with international organizations and advocating for the profession [12] WFOT promotes occupational justice internationally.

WFOT promotes the advancement of occupational therapy world wide. The constitution for the WFOT was developed in and it contained the initial objectives of the organization. The philosophy of occupational therapy has evolved over the history of the profession. The philosophy articulated by the founders owed much to the ideals of romanticism , [15] pragmatism [16] and humanism , which are collectively considered the fundamental ideologies of the past century. One of the most widely cited early papers about the philosophy of occupational therapy was presented by Adolf Meyer , a psychiatrist who had emigrated to the United States from Switzerland in the late 19th century and who was invited to present his views to a gathering of the new Occupational Therapy Society in At the time, Dr.

Meyer was one of the leading psychiatrists in the United States and head of the new psychiatry department and Phipps Clinic at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. William Rush Dunton , a supporter of the National Society for the Promotion of Occupational Therapy, now the American Occupational Therapy Association, sought to promote the ideas that occupation is a basic human need, and that occupation is therapeutic.

From his statements came some of the basic assumptions of occupational therapy, which include:. These assumptions have been developed over time and are the basis of the values that underpin the Codes of Ethics issued by the national associations.

The relevance of occupation to health and well-being remains the central theme. In the s, criticism from medicine and the multitude of disabled World War II veterans resulted in the emergence of a more reductionistic philosophy. While this approach led to developments in technical knowledge about occupational performance, clinicians became increasingly disillusioned and re-considered these beliefs.

Three commonly mentioned philosophical precepts of occupational therapy are that occupation is necessary for health, that its theories are based on holism and that its central components are people, their occupations activities , and the environments in which those activities take place. However, there have been some dissenting voices. Mocellin, in particular, advocated abandoning the notion of health through occupation as he proclaimed it obsolete in the modern world.

As well, he questioned the appropriateness of advocating holism when practice rarely supports it. In recent times occupational therapy practitioners have challenged themselves to think more broadly about the potential scope of the profession, and expanded it to include working with groups experiencing occupational injustice stemming from sources other than disability. An occupational therapist works systematically with a client through a sequence of actions called the occupational therapy process.

There are several versions of this process as described by numerous scholars. All practice frameworks include the components of evaluation or assessment , intervention, and outcomes. This process provides a framework through which occupational therapists assist and contribute to promoting health and ensures structure and consistency among therapists. The OPTF framework is divided into two sections: The domain includes environment, client factors, such as the individual's motivation, health status, and status of performing occupational tasks.

The domain looks at the contextual picture to help the occupational therapist understand how to diagnose and treat the patient. The process is the actions taken by the therapist to implement a plan and strategy to treat the patient. A central element of this process model is the focus on identifying both client and therapists strengths and resources prior to developing the outcomes and action plan.

The following are examples of such occupations:. According to the Salary and Workforce Survey by the American Occupational Therapy Association, occupational therapists work in a wide-variety of practice settings including: The broad spectrum of OT practice makes it difficult to categorize the areas of practice, especially considering the differing health care systems globally.

In this section, the categorization from the American Occupational Therapy Association is used. Occupational therapists work with infants, toddlers, children, and youth and their families in a variety of settings including schools, clinics, and homes. These occupations may include: Occupational therapy with children and youth may take a variety of forms. Occupational therapists work in the school setting as a related service for children with an Individual Education Plan IEP. The practice area of Health and Wellness is emerging steadily due to the increasing need for wellness-related services in occupational therapy.

A connection between wellness and physical health, as well as mental health, has been found; consequently, helping to improve the physical and mental health of clients can lead to an increase in overall well-being.

As a practice area, health and wellness can include a focus on: Mental health and the moral treatment era have been recognized as the root of occupational therapy. Mental health illnesses that may require occupational therapy include schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders , depressive disorders , anxiety disorders , eating disorders , trauma- and stressor-related disorders e.

Occupational therapists work with older adults to maintain independence, participate in meaningful activities, and live fulfilling lives. Some examples of areas that occupational therapists address with older adults are driving, aging in place , low vision , and dementia or Alzheimer's Disease AD. To enable independence of older adults at home, occupational therapists perform falls risk assessments, assess clients functioning in their homes, and recommend specific home modifications.

When addressing low vision, occupational therapists modify tasks and the environment. Visual impairment is one of the top 10 disabilities among American adults. Populations that may benefit from occupational therapy includes older adults, persons with traumatic brain injury, adults with potential to return to driving, and children with visual impairments. Visual impairments addressed by occupational therapists may be characterized into 2 types including low vision or a neurological visual impairment.

Occupational therapy for older adults with low vision includes task analysis, environmental evaluation, and modification of tasks or the environment as needed. Many occupational therapy practitioners work closely with optometrists and ophthalmologists to address visual deficits in acuity, visual field, and eye movement in people with traumatic brain injury, including providing education on compensatory strategies to complete daily tasks safely and efficiently.

Adults with a stable visual impairment may benefit from occupational therapy for the provision of a driving assessment and an evaluation of the potential to return to driving. Lastly, occupational therapy practitioners enable children with visual impairments to complete self care tasks and participate in classroom activities using compensatory strategies.

Occupational therapists address the need for rehabilitation following an injury or impairment. When planning treatment, occupational therapists address the physical, cognitive, psychosocial, and environmental needs involved in adult populations across a variety of settings. Because of the rising need for occupational therapists in the U. Assignments can range from 8 weeks to 9 months, but typically last 13—26 weeks in length.

Occupational therapists work with clients who have had an injury and are returning to work. OTs perform assessments to simulate work tasks in order to determine best matches for work, accommodations needed at work, or the level of disability.

Work conditioning and work hardening are interventions used to restore job skills that may have changed due to an illness or injury. Occupational therapists can also prevent work related injuries through ergonomics and on site work evaluations.

The skills of an occupational therapist enable them to serve as advocates for systemic change, impacting institutions, policy, and entire populations.

Examples of populations that experience occupational injustice include:. For example, the role of an occupational therapist working with refugees could include: Community based practice allows for OTs to work with clients and other stakeholders such as families, schools, employers, agencies, service providers, stores, day treatment and day care and others who may influence the degree of success the client will have in participating.

It also allows the therapist to see what is actually happening in the context and design interventions relevant to what might support the client in participating and what is impeding her or him from participating. The role of the OT also may vary, from advocate to consultant, direct care provider to program designer, adjunctive services to therapeutic leader.

In contrast, occupational injustice relates to conditions wherein people are deprived, excluded or denied of opportunities that are meaningful to them. Within occupational therapy practice, injustice may ensue in situations wherein professional dominance, standardized treatments, laws and political conditions create a negative impact on the occupational engagement of our clients.

Worldwide, there is a range of qualifications required to practice occupational therapy. Canada and more recently an Occupational therapy doctorate OTD is becoming more common e. Additionally, in the United States, there is also an option to become a certified occupational therapy assistant COTA , which can be achieved from completing an associates degree from an accredited educational program. Practice restrictions for the role of COTA are limited to delivery of OT interventions only, and evaluations can only be completed by a registered occupational therapist OTR.

It can be noted that the educational requirement to have a doctoral degree for practice in occupational therapy is not required until in the United States, and practitioners with a lesser degree achieved before will be grandfathered into practice.

In conjunction with the educational component of occupational therapy education, there exists a fieldwork component for all educational programs which is a requirement to achieve a degree in OT. All OT education program include periods of clinical education and fieldwork practicing with evaluation and treatment of clients in various clinical settings. Some examples of fieldwork experience include but are not limited to working with stroke patients in rehabilitation hospitals, developmental treatment with children in the community, working with olders adults with dementia in skilled nursing homes, and mental health settings.

The profession of occupational therapy is based on a wide theoretical and evidence based background. The OT curriculum focuses on the theoretical basis of occupation through multiple facets of science, including occupational science, anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and neurology. In addition, this scientific foundation is integrated with knowledge from psychology, sociology and more.

The WFOT concerns that occupational therapists will have access to further professional education, higher degrees and post professional training.

Occupational therapists are also participating in research in various areas of practice. In the United States, Canada and other countries around the world, there is a licensure requirement. In order to obtain OT license, the Occupational therapists need to graduate from an accredited OT educational program, complete their fieldwork requirements and to apply and pass national certification examination. Occupational therapists use theoretical frameworks to frame their practice.

Note that terminology differs between scholars. An incomplete list of theoretical bases for framing a human and their occupations include the following:. Generic models are the overarching title given to a collation of compatible knowledge, research and theories that form conceptual practice. Though there are Conceptual Models listed above that allow the Therapist to conceptualise the Occupational Roles of the patient, it is often important to use further reference to embed Clinical Reasoning.

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health ICF is a framework to measure health and ability by illustrating how these components impact one's function. This relates very closely to the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework, as it is stated that "the profession's core beliefs are in the positive relationship between occupation and health and its view of people as occupational beings".

The ICF also includes contextual factors environmental and personal factors that relate to the framework's context. In addition, body functions and structures classified within the ICF help describe the client factors described in the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework.

It is noted in the literature that occupational therapists should use specific occupational therapy vocabulary along with the ICF in order to ensure correct communication about specific concepts.

It also may not be possible to exactly match the connotations of the ICF categories to occupational therapy terms. The ICF is not an assessment and specialized occupational therapy terminology should not be replaced with ICF terminology. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Occupational medicine.

American Occupational Therapy Association. World Federation of Occupational Therapists. The First 30 Years, — American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. An introduction to occupational science, A foundation for occupational therapy in the 21st century. A fine balance for occupational therapists.

A time for reflection on core values". Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. A Philosophical Model for Therapy and Theory". Kielhofner Health though occupation: Theory and practice in occupational therapy.

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