Occupational Therapists (OTs) work collaboratively with people to enable them to participate in the occupations that give meaning and purpose to their lives. Occupations are everything that people do to look after themselves, to enjoy life and to contribute to the social and economic fabric of their communities.
OTs work across a variety of settings including hospitals, school boards, private and public clinics, private practice, and many emerging settings.
The Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists (OSOT) is the voluntary association for OTs in Ontario. As Canada's first occupational therapy organization, OSOT has been promoting the profession of occupational therapy since 1921.
I am employed in a hospital the area of mental health. I work with patients who need support to resume roles that have been disrupted due to their illness. I practice as an OT/psychotherapist using a variety of modalities, such as CBT, behavioral activation.
I enjoy working with people, solving problems, and having a set of professional skills that are in demand.
Seeing clients get better is a very rewarding experience. Also my job can evolve as I am able to continually learn new modalities/ techniques to enhance my professional skills.
My job involves running psychoeducation groups, doing individual psychotherapy, charting on my interactions with clients, and liaising with other team members. I conduct assessments, establish treatment plans, and develop discharge plans.
I think being curious, thinking critically and creatively, being a good listener, and knowing why you are using a particular approach or modality are Important skills and attributes. Strong verbal communication and writing skills are essential. OTs, in my opinion, are practical and good problem solvers.
Connect with an OT and find out about their job. Check out the College of Occupational Therapists' website to see what it means to be a regulated health care professional.
I take courses related to my job, read information provided by the College of Occupational Therapists and the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists, keep up with current standards, and connect with other OTs.
I currently work in early psychosis intervention with individuals who have experienced a first episode of psychosis. My clients are typically young adults ranging in the ages of 16-35 years old. It is an outpatient setting where clients are supported by a variety of clinicians. We have occupational therapy, psychiatry, psychology, social work, recreation therapy, peer support, addiction specialists and nursing staff. I mainly support clients with goals related to school, work and behavioural activation. Most days I am in the clinic where clients will meet with me, but I also do community visits and outreach. I also help plan, organize and facilitate many of our monthly groups for clients and I am a member of various committees at the hospital and outside of the organization.
I had learned about the profession through a friend who was a new OT at the time. I intrigued by the other services I could offer as an OT.
Seeing my clients achieve their goals, despite the barriers along the way, and getting back to what they enjoy.
I am always assisting clients with identifying their goals and making plans. This includes connecting clients with available supports and resources and advocating on their behalf. This can involve contacting employers and schools, assisting with retroactive withdrawals, return to work planning, setting up appropriate accommodations, employment readiness (resume building, interview skill development, job search, bus training...etc.). I also can be out in the community or facilitating a group and encouraging clients to engage in specific skill development or activities. Providing education is another part of my role.
Certainly being able to identify the person's strengths and barriers, in addition to considering the environmental and occupational factors. Learning how to be a self-directed learner has also been very important when moving into a new role. With so many unique opportunities, one can not assume the training they will receive will cover everything they need to know. There is always more learning to gain over time.
Have an open mind when thinking about what you would like to do after graduation. Don't get stuck thinking you'll only want to be working in a specific area. There are so many areas of practice and unique roles in which OTs are working. Take some time to explore these areas and speak to OTs who are currently practicing to learn more. Volunteer! shadow! continue with professional development.
Each year I sign up for workshops and/or look for new learning opportunities. I have also been striving to complete additional training to further my professional development and expand my skill set. I have a goal to try and take at least 1 student OT each year and stay connected with my colleagues within and outside of the workplace.