Occupational Therapist helps those who seek their treatment in attaining maximum self-sufficiency in their work and other daily activities. People from all age groups seek treatment of occupational therapists.
Unique Characteristics of Occupational Therapy
> It functions concentrating of modern physiology and psychology.
> This is an employment sector with a lot of employment opportunities
> It is a profession with so many functional & diverse objectives. After a graduation in Occupational therapy, one can work or go for higher studies in novel & diverse practice area. This makes occupational therapy stand apart from other allied health care profession. A small description about occupational therapy education is given below.
> It is a creative profession for those who are creative.
OT Education in India
In India OT degree (BOT), Post graduate diploma (PG DROT), Master degree (MOT) and Ph.D. Courses are available.
||Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (BOT)
||Post graduate diploma in OT (PGDROT)
||Masters of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
||2 – 3 years
Bachelors of Occupational Therapy (BOT / BOTh)
> Eligibility: Pass in +2/HSC with PCB (Physics, Chemistry & Biology)with minimum mark of 50% in PCB (In some Universities it is 45% whereas in others it is 60%)
> Duration : 4 ½ years (Including 6 months compulsory rotatory internship)
– Theory: In the first two years basic physiology is being taught. (Like Anatomy. Physiology. Microbiology, pathology, General Medicine, General Surgery, Clinical Neurology, Orthopedics, Psychiatry etc…) In the next two years, the methods through which physical, mental and emotional problems are solved by Occupational Therapy are being taught. In addition there will be a research work also there in the final year.
– Practicals / Clinical: In the last two years the students will be undergoing extensive ‘hands on; training for clinical assessment, treatment planning &implementation, clinical discussion etc…
o Internship: In the six month period of internship, an OT student gets opportunity to gain experience by working under a senior Occupational Therapist.
Higher Education in Occupational therapy
After a graduation in Occupational therapy, one can work or go for higher studies in novel & diverse practice area. Some of the key areas given below,
- A) Post-graduation in Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Duration of this course is 2 year. In this course the candidate will be learning recent advances in one area of specialization. In addition one will be well verse with research. The following specialties are available
- MOT in Neurosciences
- MOT in Musculoskeletal Disabilities
- MOT in Mental Health
- MOT in Hand Therapy
- MOT in Rehabilitation
- MOT in Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR)
- Postgraduate Diploma in OT Rehabilitation (PGDR-OT)
Duration of this course is 1 year. In this course the students will be undergoing training for OT specialized assessment with standardized & non-standardized tools, goal setting & treatment interventions. Dissertation submission will help the students to learn research methodology in occupational therapy. Unlike MOT, specialization in one particular area will not be possible with this course.
- Specialization/higher education in “Special” treatment techniques
An Occupational therapist can do Specialization/higher education in “Special” treatment techniques based on his aptitude & interest. Some of such specialization areas given below,
A splint is a device used for support or immobilization of limbs or other body part. Treatment by use of a splint is usually followed by surgeries to the hand, for arthritic conditions in the hand, paralyzed hand etc… The designing, fabrication, alteration & Check out of the splint used to carried out under the supervision of a qualified occupational therapist.
(a method of treatment which helps in developing the right response and behavioral pattern in a child with altered ‘sensory integration’ induced disorders (Like Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD etc..) by stimulating and integrating the sense organs)
This was introduced by an Occupational therapist and currently it is being practiced worldwide for the treatment of above mentioned disorders. A specialization in this area has wide scope for practice and it is an active research area in Occupational Therapy. Course duration ranges from 3 months to 1 year.
This is a widely used peaditaric neurology treatment approach to overcome physical developmental delay in differently children. This treatment is mainly executed by Occupational Therapist & Physiotherapist worldwide. Course duration ranges from 3 months to 1 year.
- D) Ph.D. in Occupational Therapy
A Candidate with master degree in Occupational Therapy and a minimum of 1 year working experience in the field of Occupational Therapy is eligible to do Ph.D in OT.
There are 2 mode: Regular (Duration – 3 year)Part Time (Duration – 5 year)
- E) Other areas of specialization
After obtaining a Bachelor degree in Occupational Therapy, one can do the higher education in the following area which is not directly related to occupational Therapy
- Masters of Medical Anatomy (Msc)
- Masters of Medical Physiology (Msc)
- Master of Public Health (MPH)
- Masters in Biostatistics & Research Methedology
While Selecting an Occupational therapy College…
One should always consider the following points before selecting an OT college for their study
- Whether the college is recognized by a University with UGC recognition and whether the university is offering “Full time course”?
- Whether the college is recogonized by AIOTA (All India Occupationbal Therapist’s Association) and WFOT (World Federation of Occupationbal Therapist’s)?
- Content of the syllabus: Whether the syllabus is having approximately 5500-6000 hrs of Clinical + Teaching hours?
- Emphasize given for research activity in the syllabus
- Infrastructure: Whether the college is closely attached with full-fledged medical college/super specialty hospital?
- Type of the patient load in the hospital (It is better to choose a hospital where almost all varieties of patients being treated – like Psychiatry, Neonatology, Oncology, Neurology & neurosurgery, Orthopedics etc…-)
- Teaching Staffs: No. of staffs with Master degree in Occupational Therapy
- Is there a full-fledged Occupational therapy working with the college? How many clinical staffs are working etc…
- Library &it’s working time, book issuing facility for students.
- Emphasize given to the extracurricular activities / facilities
(For more details http://keralaot.org/Colleges.aspx )
Desirable Skills for an Occupational Therapist
- Physical fitness
- Communication Skills
- Learning Aptitude
- Scope of Occupational Therapy
Occupational Therapists are one of the “most wanted” allied health care professionals in India as well as abroad, especially in western & Middle East countries. In some of the major cities in India even have the lack of adequate Occupational Therapists. Some of the main job sectors are given below.
Scope of OT in India
|> ESI Hospitals> SSA – Sarva Siksha Abhayan
Ex.AIIPMR,NIRTAR, NIOH etc.
|> P.S.C posts> Govt. Mental health centers
> Medical Colleges run by State Govt.
> District Rehabilitation Centre
|> OT clinic> Hospital
> Special School
> Early intervention centres
> Normal schools
> International Companies as ergonomic consultant
|> Home Visit> Can run own OT clinic (One of the important attraction of this profession)
Scope of OT in Foreign Countries
The job outlook for occupational therapists is very goodin foreign countries according to their official job outlook sites. Some of such reports with their web link is given below
USA: “The job outlook for occupational therapists is very good. Employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase 33 percent from 2010 to 2020, much better than the average for all occupations.” Ref: ‘Occupational Therapist Job Outlook’ Retrieved from http://www.healthguideusa.org/careers/occupational_therapist_job_outlook.htmon 30-1-13
http://www.careercompass.gov.sg/Pages/OccupationDetail.aspx?OccupationName=Occupational+Therapist&SectorID=99 on 30-1-13