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Purpose and Mission
Occupational therapists are healthcare professionals who help individuals with physical or mental health issues in their working and social lives. These healthcare professionals help people by assessing their physical, emotional and social needs, and then help them learn these skills as well as the everyday skills they need to participate in the community.
In many cases, occupational therapists make arrangements for assistive and/or adaptive technologies, and even modify the home and work environments of clients to help adjust. OPs also consult closely with doctors, nurses and other members of the healthcare team, as well as with family members and caregivers, maintaining a focus on holistic health and client quality of life.
Occupational therapists are typically employed by hospitals, clinics, schools or government agencies, and usually report to a mid-level administrator at the institution.
Highly experienced occupational therapists might have significant supervisory responsibilities, including evaluating junior colleagues, assistants and other members of the healthcare team. Inexperienced occupational therapists tend to have more responsibilities related to direct client care, and less responsibility for oversight.
The basic qualification for an occupational therapists is an undergraduate or masters-level degree in occupational therapy. Degrees in occupational therapy are offered at a number of colleges and universities throughout Australia. Practicing occupational therapists must be registered with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia.
Responsibilities of an Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapists have numerous responsibilities relating to helping clients improve their quality of life, including: