Occupational therapists are those specialists working with people who have different disabilities, with elder people, and school children. There are almost all the age groups in occupational therapy scope of activity. They help people in performing regular every day activities like dressing, cooking or working with a computer.
The range of activities where the skills of occupational therapist may be applied is very wide. Occupational therapists also communicate with patients with permanent disability, those who often need to get used to such things as wheelchairs or splints. And new equipment that is needed for the patients sometimes is designed by occupational therapists (that`s why they also need engineering and programming skills).
Today there are many people who would love to work in occupational therapy field, but there are some problems.One of the main is that the number of occupational therapy programs that prepare high quality specialists is too small. But to start working as an occupational therapist, it is usually needed to have a degree not lower than bachelor. Moreover, it is planned to make a master degree the minimum for an occupation therapist by 2007.
All the specialist needs is to pass an exam and to get the "Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR)" title. They need to be high quality specialists in many different disciplines. Most important are probably biology, chemistry, health care, and the most important of all of them (as long as occupational therapist works with people) is the social science.
The problem of a small number of programs probably can be solved more or less with the use of Internet. There are several programs for occupational therapy online studies. They include total courses of occupational therapists and programs of raising the level of occupational therapists' skill.
As long as occupational therapists work in many different areas, their working conditions can also vary pretty much. Usually those specialists in occupational therapy who work in hospital have 8-hour-working day as most of the doctors there. Therapists dealing with school children usually work till the end of the school day, but they usually also stay for meetings and other activities that may be involved.
In most cases the work of an occupation therapist is exhausting, because he (she) spends almost all the working day on feet. Not all people can handle such tough working conditions. So, mind that if you want to be an occupational therapist. The number of jobs in occupational therapy is not that big - about 82,600 in 2004 (in the United States) and most of them work in hospitals. There are self-employed occupational therapists, but such cases are rare.
For further information on occupational therapy and all the studying programs available you can address to the Internet. Such websites as Occupationaltherapist.com have a lot of different useful links that might help you to find a job or a college in occupational therapy. All the needed information can also be found online.