Occupational Therapist


Occupational therapists assess and treat people who, due to illness, injury or circumstance, are limited in their ability to undertake everyday activities. They assist people to regain lost functions, develop their abilities and social skills, as well as maintain and promote independence in their everyday lives to enhance health and wellbeing.

Duties & Tasks

Occupational therapists may perform the following tasks:

  • conduct tests to assess functional, emotional, psychological, developmental and physical capabilities
  • plan and direct specific therapeutic programmes for individuals using recreational, remedial, social, educational or vocational (job-related) activities
  • select and design activities that improve an affected movement or function and help individuals to regain personal care skills, such as eating and dressing
  • assist people to gain or regain skills in social, leisure and work environments through graded individual or group therapy and activity programmes
  • monitor the progress of individuals and assist with the coordination of an appropriate health team
  • assist children with disabilities to integrate into education programmes in schools
  • assess the ability of injured workers to return to their usual employment or perform alternative duties
  • design and modify the everyday environment of clients to allow for better access and independence
  • advise on the use of specialised equipment, such as home modifications, adapted kitchen utensils, wheelchairs and other assistive technologies that help people within their environment
  • assess the need for, develop and run health education programmes
  • act as consultants to industry and government organisations
  • undertake research
  • teach in academic institutions, generally at tertiary level
  • assist with policy development for health and other areas.

Personal Requirements

  • patience
  • able to show initiative
  • a flexible attitude
  • practical, innovative and observant
  • good problem-solving skills
  • good interpersonal and communication skills
  • able to maintain client confidentiality
  • able to work independently or as part of a team.

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