Occupational Therapists (OTs)
Our numbers are on the rise with approximately 20,975 registered OTs working in Australia currently, up from 13,611 in 2012 (AHPRA, 2018). But what exactly do we do?!
OTs work with people of all ages and in various settings. OTs can work with people through all aspects of life such as taking care of oneself and others, volunteering, working and participating in hobbies, interests and social events. OTs call these things “occupations”. The ideal goal of OT is to support people to participate in the activities of everyday life. OTs help people overcome the barriers that they face in doing the things they want and need to do. OTs might do this by modifying the environment, helping a person establish/restore skills or adapt the activity that the person is having trouble doing.
OTs are concerned with what people can and can't do (but want/need to do), and how this impacts on their overall quality of life. As humans, we have an innate desire to "do", and when we are hit by a road block (like illness, injury, ageing and disability), we can sometimes find the things that we want/need to do more difficult. Sometimes this can lead to people losing independence, becoming socially isolated, not being able to fulfil their values/roles and leading to an overall reduced quality of life that lacks purpose. This is where OTs come in!
Why is it called 'Occupational Therapy?'
"In occupational therapy, occupations refer to the everyday activities that people do as individuals, in families and with communities to occupy time and bring meaning and purpose to life. Occupations include things people need to, want to and are expected to do." (WFOT, World Federation of Occupational Therapists).
For more information, visit:
Allied Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, 2018. Occupational therapy board of Australia - Statistics, https://www.occupationaltherapyboard.gov.au/about/statistics.aspx, date viewed 22nd November 2018.
Occupational Therapy Australia, 2018. What does an ot do, http://aboutoccupationaltherapy.com.au/what-does-an-ot-do/, date viewed 22nd November 2018.
Bond University - bond.edu.au.
Brooke George, Occupational Therapist