What do occupational therapists do?

Here are some examples of the kinds of work that occupational therapists do:

Working with children:

  • Helping children achieve their developmental milestones such as fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
  • Educating and involving parents, carers and others to facilitate the normal development and learning of children.

Rehabilitation and aged care:

  • Helping clients regain or enhance their daily lives after specific events such as hip replacement or stroke.
  • Assessing and modifying clients’ home and community environments to improve their safety and independence.
  • Prescribing and educating clients and carers in the use of adaptive equipment to assist function.

Acute care:

  • Specialist interventions in various health conditions including surgery, burns, HIV and acute mental health.
  • Assessing clients’ cognition, function and psychosocial needs.
  • Monitoring clients’ function and progress, prescribing adaptive equipment to ensure safety upon discharge from hospitals.

Injury management:

  • Using specialised assessments to determine the functional requirements of various jobs, and clients’ capacity to return to work.
  • Designing and coordinating graded return to work programs.
  • Educating clients in safe work practices.
  • Modifying the work environment to suit the needs of individuals so as to prevent or minimise injuries.

Mental health:

  • Designing individual and group programs and activities to enhance clients’ independence in everyday activities.
  • Developing coping strategies for clients in overcoming their mental health issues.
  • Improving clients’ confidence and self esteem in social situations.