Occupational Therapy: One of the Best Jobs in Health Care
in observance of Occupational Therapy Month, April 2021.
Occupational Therapy was ranked #10 in Best Jobs in Health Care for 2021 by U.S. News. There is a growing need for more OTs and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the field of occupational therapy is expected to grow by 15.9% between 2019 and 2029 with an estimated 22,700 jobs needing to be filled. Those numbers are likely to increase with the growing need for occupational therapy for recovering COVID-19 patients.
What does this mean? There is no better time than now to enter the field of occupational therapy, and when you are ready, Lincoln Memorial University has the program to help you get there.
So, what exactly is an OT, and what can an OT do?
When someone hears the words occupational therapy, they tend to associate it with therapy to help you in your job. And while occupational therapy can help you do better at the job where you work, it also helps you with the daily activities of your job of living. An OT helps people to live their life to the fullest by improving their ability to do the things they both want and need to do every day.
An OT works with patients of all ages and with all abilities. Practice areas include children and youth; mental health; rehabilitation, disability and participation; healthy living; aging; and work and industry.
Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:
- an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
- customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
- an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.
Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science.
The Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) prepares graduates to be entry-level occupational therapists. The curriculum is taught by experienced occupational therapists who hold a wide range of specialties and interests. The program is primarily delivered in a traditional face-to-face format allowing students to build relationships with faculty and peers that often last a lifetime. The LMU OTD program is housed within the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine at LMU-Knoxville alongside many other health care programs such as Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies (PA) and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). To learn more about LMU’s OTD program email [email protected].
During the month of April, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) celebrates
Occupational Therapy Month and the more than 213,000 occupational therapists, occupational
therapy assistants, and students who work nationwide to create fuller lives for clients
and their families. LMU is proud to celebrate Occupational Therapy Month and looks
forward to welcoming its inaugural class of future OTs on May 17, 2021.
Jason Hughes, PhD, MS, OTR, CWCE, is the Program Director for the Lincoln Memorial University Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program. This column is presented as a community service and is not intended to provide specific medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice or medical assistance, please contact your physician. For more information on the LMU OTD program visit LMUnet.edu/OTD.