What is occupational therapy? We’re glad you asked! And just in time for World Occupational Therapy Day, which is on October 27th.
Occupational therapy primarily works with (but is not limited to) the upper body. These master’s degree-level therapists help treat adults and children to develop, recover, improve and maintain skills necessary for daily living and working. For example, occupational therapists can help a child with their handwriting skills and fine motor (finger) movements, or an adult with core strengthening and fall prevention.
At Ridge Zeller Therapy, we love our OTs, and we’re proud of the amazing work they do. Two of our occupational therapists, Jenny and Sheila took a moment to answer some questions about their profession.
Q. Why did you become an occupational therapist?
Jenny: I’ve always enjoyed helping others. Initially, I thought I was going to be a teacher. But when I was in high school, on career day I was able to observe an OT at a care facility, and that was when I realized that occupational therapy was the field I wanted to pursue.
Sheila: Art and Science were always my favorite subjects, and occupational therapy combines the two.
Q. What do you enjoy most about your work?
Jenny: I really enjoy the social interaction of this profession. I’m compassionate and I care about the welfare of others. Given that, I feel like this field brings out the best of me. I enjoy having the ability to be creative, and I can also problem solve to reach practical solutions for functional outcomes.
Sheila: As an OT, I think of myself as a talent scout! I get to help special needs students discover what they are good at and then I’m able to build on that foundation.
Q. What is the most challenging thing about being an occupational therapist?
Jenny: For me the most challenging part of my job is the paperwork. I would rather be treating a client than confined to a desk writing reports!
Sheila: Basically, every child could benefit from occupational therapy. It’s challenging for me to be discerning and deny services when the evaluation scores don’t support treatment.
Q. What’s one thing that you want people to know about the field of occupational therapy?
Jenny: Occupational therapy is based on the engagement of meaningful activities in daily life, for example self-care skills and hygiene, education, work, and social interaction. It’s an amazing profession!
Sheila: I want people to know that it’s diverse. There are a lot of different opportunities for OTs to help people in a variety of settings.
Want to learn more about occupational therapy? Click here and visit The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Web site. Are you an OT interested in working for Ridge Zeller? Please click here to submit your resume!