Occupational therapists are experts at helping people lead as independent a life as possible. Occupational therapists bring an understanding of the physical and psychological implications of illness and injury and their effects on peoples' ability to perform the tasks of daily living. Occupational therapists provide interventions that can aide a person in completing ADL and IADL tasks, such as dressing, bathing, preparing meals, and driving. They also may fabricate custom orthotics to improve function, evaluate the environment for safety hazards and recommend adaptations to remove those hazards, help a person compensate for cognitive changes, and build a persons’ physical endurance and strength. Occupational therapists' knowledge of adapting tasks and modifying the environment to compensate for functional limitations is used to increase the involvement of clients and to promote safety and success. Source: The Guide to Occupational Therapy Practice, 2nd edition. Bethesda: American Occupational Therapy Association, 2007. [7/1/2008: new]
Additional Resources: The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) does offer voluntary board certification for a Physical Rehabilitation Occupational Therapist if the applicant meets the following requirements:
- Professional degree or equivalent in occupational therapy.
- Certified or licensed by and in good standing with an AOTA recognized credentialing or regulatory body.
- Minimum of 5 years of practice as an occupational therapist.
- Minimum of 5,000 hours of experience as an occupational therapist in the certification area in the last 7 calendar years.
- Minimum of 500 hours of experience delivering occupational therapy services in the certification area to clients (individuals, groups, or populations) in the last 5 calendar years. Service delivery may be paid or voluntary.
- Verification of employment.
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