Would I Make a Good Occupational Therapist?
Occupational therapists do incredibly hands-on work, from helping clients to rehab from injury or stroke, to working with clients on daily movement patterns that cause strain. Curious as to whether or not you would make a good occupational therapist? Take the self-assessment quiz below and see if you've got the qualities of a successful OT.
How many of these qualities describe you?
|Do you have exceptional people skills?||Yes or No|
|Are you patient?||Yes or No|
|Are you a positive person?||Yes or No|
|Do you want to work helping others?||Yes or No|
|Are you physically able and aware?||Yes or No|
|Are you organized?||Yes or No|
|Are you a creative problem-solver?||Yes or No|
|Do you enjoy challenges?||Yes or No|
|Are you a good listener?||Yes or No|
|Do you have solid written communication skills?||Yes or No|
Why Does an Occupational Therapist Need These Qualities?
Do you have exceptional people skills?
An OT will spend most of his or her workday interacting with patients one-on-one and needs to be able to establish trust and understanding with each client in order to be effective.
Are you patient?
It can be a long, sometimes frustrating process to recover from injuries or strains and re-learn movement patterns. An occupational therapist needs patience in order to help clients through this process.
Are you a positive person?
Remaining realistically optimistic and positive about a client's progress will help them to remain motivated.
Do you want to work helping others?
An occupational therapist's main job is helping his or her clients, so anyone considering this job should be interested in that mission.
Are you physically able and aware?
Being healthy and aware of his or her own body and movement will help an occupational therapist to demonstrate movements and exercises to clients. Physical agility and strength may also be required to help patients with limited mobility.
Are you organized?
Keeping track of client records, billing information and patient notes requires organizational skill.
Are you a creative problem-solver?
Occupational therapists need to be able to see a client's problems from a number of different perspectives in order to address and alleviate them. Though the pain may be felt in one part of the body, it could be caused from an injury or strain somewhere else.
Do you enjoy challenges?
An OT needs to be ready to take on challenges, both physical and mental, faced by their clients. Though patients may believe they can never recover, an OT must continue to believe they can help.
Are you a good listener?
Listening to all parts of a client's story is necessary and helpful for understanding the source of their injury or discomfort, and getting a full picture of possible causes.
Do you have solid written communication skills?
From writing patient notes, to communicating with other members of a patient's medical team, an OT needs to communicate well in writing.
Getting Started in Your Occupational Therapy Career
Did you answer yes to more than half of the questions above? If so, you may make a great occupational therapist. Aspiring therapists need to get a bachelor's degree and then attend OT school to earn their master's degree. Master's programs in occupational therapy include a clinical experience requirement for students to get hands-on practice with clients.