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
teach in academic institutions, generally at tertiary level
assist with policy development for health and other areas.
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.