Tuesday 5 March 2024
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Being an occupational therapist is one of the most fulfilling careers as it involves treating people with disabilities through everyday tasks and activities. As a medical student, being an occupational therapist is not only about thoroughly going through the NBCOT test questions and passing the exams. It is more than that.

In this article, we are going to discuss everything a student striving to be an occupational therapist needs to know about the career.

Let us delve into specifics.


Occupational therapists have various duties and responsibilities. They include:

  • Doing a medical background check on the patient and ask them questions about their condition
  • Watching how patients go about day to day tasks
  • Evaluating the severity of the conditions as well as the needs and wants of the patient
  • Helping patients do some basic everyday tasks such as getting dressed
  • Helping patients perform appropriate exercises suitable for their condition
  • Evaluate the patient’s living environment and making sure it is safe. For people with poor memory, an occupational therapist can help label things.
  • Talk to the family members and educate them on the best ways to live with the disabled person.
  • Depending on the disabilities, occupational therapists can recommend the family to purchase various special equipment to facilitate movement
  • Evaluate and monitor the patient’s progress and communicating the same to the relevant physicians

The joys of being an occupational therapist

As stated earlier, there are joys of being an occupational therapist. Going home after a long day’s work, knowing that you have made a significant impact on improving another person’s life is rewarding. Making jokes, encouraging the patients, and seeing them smile are fulfilling. Do not forget the warm feelings of excitement you get once a patient has recovered or made significant progress.

Occupational therapists now have the luxury of working from anywhere. They can either work within their locality or globally. The international medical industry offers immense job opportunities across various continents.

Additionally, occupational therapists are not only confined to working in hospitals. Other places where they can practice include in nursing facilities, rehabs, and outpatient clinics, to name but a few.

Furthermore, due to the sensitive nature of the job, the job comes with a steady paycheck.

Unfortunately, you will rarely miss heartbreaking situations

Just because occupational therapists must help patients with disabilities does not mean they cannot be emotionally attached.

Patients who need occupational therapy services include people with orthopedic injuries, congenital disabilities, and many more. Unfortunately, some of these conditions are permanent.

As an occupational therapist, you need to understand that not everyone will achieve full recovery. You might offer them quality treatment, the patient might be focused and perform exercises diligently, but there are instances where the disability is permanent.

Occupational therapists see their patients frequently, forming emotional connections. Unfortunately, in some cases, the patient’s condition might deteriorate and take a turn for the worse. Due to emotional attachment, losing a patient can be heartbreaking.