As an occupational therapist, you are likely aware that communication, organization, problem-solving ability and compassion for others are essential for success as a therapist. However, there are additional skills that can make you an even better occupational therapist. If you are considering pursuing a career in occupational therapy, read on.
Assessing, planning, organizing and participating in rehabilitative programs that restore daily living skills are just the tip of occupational therapy job responsibilities. Occupational therapy goes beyond focusing on specific problems. It also accounts for the patient’s environment and finding ways for them to adjust to that broader environment. Skills that are vital for success as an occupational therapist include:
- Communication skills. It is critical for therapists to listen and adequately explain procedures to patients.
- Personal skills. A therapist must be capable of working with patients from a wide variety of backgrounds.
- Organizational skills. Organizational skills are a must for a therapist. Managing a client’s timetable, maintaining records, appointments and meetings are all part of a typical day, making organizational skills in high demand for therapists.
- Recording skills. Being able to state the exact condition of a client in a precise manner is a critical skill in an occupational therapist. Clear, detailed records are a tremendous benefit to you and the staff.
Just Starting Your OT Career?
If you are a new occupational therapist, understand you will take a holistic approach to care. You will treat the whole person, not just one specific problem. As a practitioner, you will need problem-solving ability to work through treatment hurdles while being patient with clients who may be rude, frustrated, impatient, depressed or stubborn.
Physical strength and stamina are also essential for assisting patients and handling a busy schedule. A therapist must have the flexibility to work with a variety of clients while demonstrating a helpful nature, compassion and empathy.
If you are a new occupational therapist, check out how General Healthcare Resources can reward you for your varied skills.