Occupation Therapists help people find jobs right??
NO!! The role of an occupational therapist is NOT to search for or provide job opportunities to unemployed individuals. I have been asked this on several occasions, and a couple people who have asked this question have worked in the medical field and should know better! I do see how it would make sense to relate the word "occupational" to something job related, but that is not necessarily true.
Occupation vs. vocation
An occupation can be anything that a person does to take up their time during the day. This may include some type of employment, eating, bathing, toileting, community mobility, or could just be something that the person enjoys doing such as gardening, cooking, woodworking, or any type of leisure activity. Believe it or not, children have occupations as well. They are related more to education and play, but that is what a child's life revolves around, and it is essential for normal development. A vocation is more like what you would consider to be your actual job and most likely requires special training to gain competency.
SO...what do occupational therapist do??
What is the role of an occupational therapist if they don't help people find jobs? Well, we help people reach their occupational goals. Clients who acquire an injury or disability may not be able to complete their chosen occupations anymore, or it may become difficult or painful. Occupational therapy practitioners will help that person learn to adapt to his/her disability and will help them get back to a life that is as normal as possible through functional activities. This may include strengthening, increasing range of motion, learning to use adaptive equipment, making the home a more safe environment, education for the client and family, and many other things depending on the person, their disabitlity, and their goals. Occupational therapy is very client centered and is focused on helping individuals reach their occupational goals through functional activities.
For more information:
For more information, on what occupational therapy is, how it is implemented, settings it may be used in, disabilities or delays OT addresses, etc., visit the American Occupational Therapy Association website at www.aota.org.