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Builds the skills for the job of living

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1 Builds the skills for the job of living
Career choice Occupational Therapy Builds the skills for the job of living

2 A career in occupational therapy offers you a lifetime of possibilities that are…

3 Rewarding

4 Challenging

5 Diverse

6 As an occupational therapist, you may:
• Use advanced technology to enable a young man to live independently after a spinal cord injury. • Consult in schools to help children overcome writing difficulties and other learning challenges. • Head up a disability management program for a national corporation. • Assist an aging couple to care for one another in their own home. • Travel to developing countries or war-besieged regions to help set up rehabilitation programs.

7 What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy builds the skills for the job of living and solves problems that interfere with people’s ability to do activities or occupations that are important to them. These problems may be a result of injury, disease, social disadvantage, or the environment. Occupational therapists work with people of any age to promote health, prevent disability, and develop or maintain abilities. Occupational therapists are often part of a multi-disciplinary team and work in different settings like hospitals, schools, community health centres and workplaces.

8 Occupational therapists assist a client to:
Occupation refers to the activities and tasks of daily life that have value and meaning to a person. Occupations can include: • self-care (i.e. personal care, mobility), • leisure (i.e. social activities, sports) and • productivity (play, school, employment, homemaking). Occupational therapists assist a client to: • learn new ways of doing things. • adapt materials or equipment they use. • make changes to their environments.

9 Trends in occupational therapy
From hospital to community, schools and workplaces From employee to independent practice and consultant Some examples: Home modifications Assistive technology Ergonomics Workplace mental health Learning challenges Medical-legal assessments Research Education

10 Required education Move to professional master’s level entry by 2010
Minimum of a B average (varies with programs). Combination of pure, behavioural and social sciences. Expect to do an undergraduate degree plus master’s; length varies with program. Consider community college programs to qualify as occupational therapy assistants. Check specific details with each university program.

11 Occupational therapy education programs
University of BC, Vancouver University of Alberta, Edmonton University of Manitoba, Winnipeg University of Western Ontario, London McMaster University, Hamilton University of Toronto University of Ottawa Queen’s University, Kingston McGill University, Montreal University of Montreal Laval University, Quebec City Dalhousie University, Halifax

12 Fieldwork education Registration
Part of education includes 1000 hours of supervised fieldwork training Registration Must be licensed by the regulatory body in the province/territory where you’ll work. Some provinces require successful completion of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists certification exam.

13 Career stars Meet some occupational therapists... Community Practice
Rehab Business Owner Facility Planner — Accessibility International Rehab Consultant / University Professor

14 Jenny Garden Community occupational therapist
Chose New Zealand for her second-year fieldwork placement, where she worked with prison inmates who were preparing for release. Jenny now works helping teachers to successfully integrate children with disabilities into their classrooms. Occupational therapy offers so much variety. I am so lucky that I can move to a different area of practice or even a different country if I decide I need a change. I couldn't be happier with my choice.

15 Private Practice Occupational Therapist
Min Kyi Private Practice Occupational Therapist Return to work/expert witness testimony Min Kyi never complains that his job is boring. He's just about to spend an evening with a rock band roadie. Min's job is to carefully observe and measure —yes, literally measure— the amplifiers, the sound system and the height of the stage, so that he can assess what impact such physical work has on the man's body. I don't think I could have chosen a better field. I have flexibility with my schedule that really suits my lifestyle. I have a level of interaction with my clients that no other health professional has, and I know my work really makes a difference.

16 Facilities Project Leader Facilities Development & Construction
Pam Andrews Facilities Project Leader Facilities Development & Construction Vancouver General Hospital Former farmer, geological clerk and apartment block manager Pam chose occupational therapy because she likes figuring out the mechanics of how things work. Now she is an expert on the fascinating intricacies of how human beings move through and function in buildings, and she couldn't be happier. I fell in love with occupational therapy because it took me into the realm of human behaviour. I also needed to be practical. I couldn't study something like philosophy — I needed a marketable skill. I had four boys to feed!

17 International Community Rehabilitation Consultant
Rachel Thibeault International Community Rehabilitation Consultant Professor of Occupational Therapy at the University of Ottawa When Rachel Thibeault graduated, she had no idea that her skills would take her to some of the world’s most devastated, war-ravaged countries. Despite the suffering she has been so close to, Rachel remains determinedly optimistic about the unique potential of occupational therapy to heal not just individuals, but to contribute to the rebuilding of civil society in communities traumatized by terror and war. Occupation is universal and the skills of occupational therapy can be easily exported into many contexts and situations. We do not have a limited vision. We don’t get lost in esoteric discourse. We remain rooted in what makes human life human.

18 Career checklist Do you enjoy... Are you… Working and helping people?
Creative problem solving? Variety? Are you… A good communicator? A team player? Accountable and responsible? Adaptable and flexible? Self-motivated? A self-starter?

19 Then find out more about occupational therapy at:
Produced by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

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