Occupational therapists work with people who have a physical or learning disability or mental illness, actively engaging them in purposeful activities in order to maximise self-confidence, independent functioning and well-being.
- Considers the physical, psychological and social needs of a patient that may result from illness, injury, congenital condition or lifestyle problems
- Devises, designs, initiates and monitors carefully selected and graded treatments and activities as part of the assessment and intervention process
- Liaises with a wide variety of other professionals in planning and reviewing ongoing treatments
- Trains students and supervises the work of occupational therapy assistants
- Makes home visits to clients, families and carers to organise support and rehabilitation and assist them to deal and cope with disability
- Counsels clients in ways to promote a healthy lifestyle, prevention of illness and/or preparation for coping with increasing stages of illness
- Maintains patient records, manages caseloads.
Entrants usually possess A levels/H grades, an Advanced GNVQ/GSVQ Level III, a BTEC/SQA award or equivalent qualifications followed by training on an approved degree scheme necessary for state registration as an occupational therapist. There is a minimum age limit of 18 years to enter training.