Occupational therapists provide services to individuals whose ability to cope with the activities of daily living are impaired by physical illness or injury, congenital or developmental disability, or the aging process. The goal of the therapist is to help their patients regain their independence and good health. Occupational therapists use several types of activities to evaluate and treat patients. With children they may use toys and games. In treating adults, the therapists may use computers, work simulation, leisure activities, self care tasks, and other methods. Adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs, splints, and eating and dressing aids are provided by the therapist when needed. The effectiveness of the activity and progress of the patient are carefully monitored and recorded by occupational therapists.
Occupational therapists may specialize in physical rehabilitation, mental health, pediatrics, or gerontology occupational therapy. They may also specialize in specific body parts such as the hands.
To become an occupational therapist, an education program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education must be completed. Three routes are offered: a bachelor's degree, a post-baccalaureate certificate program, or a professional master's degree program. All OT education programs include a period of supervised clinical experience. There are a few certificate programs at both the professional and technical levels of education. (Info from H.O.T. Jobs Directory)