Kreller, Alana Margaret - Occupational Therapist

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[edit] Occupational Therapist (Alana Kreller)

[edit] General Overview

Occupational Therapists are trained to help individuals make transformative lifestyle changes through activities that promote healthy living and mental wellness [1] Occupations are defined as events that occur in an individual’s everyday life, which those individuals represent themselves with, such as one’s employment position, or one’s favourite hobbies [1] If an individual went to school every day, that individual could identify himself or herself with the occupation of being a student. When occupational therapists work with individuals, they must attend to multiple aspects of the individual’s life such as their biological, psychological and social needs [1]

[edit] Jobs, Duties, and Responsibilities

An Occupational Therapist begins by evaluating the individual(s) they are working with by indicating how the client’s lifestyle should include more positive and healthy occupations [1] Occupational Therapists help individuals make lifestyle changes working with what individuals can and cannot do physically, mentally, and emotionally, dependent on that individual’s current resources and support [1]. In order to overcome a disability, or adapt to new equipment, or adapt to new environments, individuals seek out help from Occupational Therapists [1]. Occupational Therapists use empirical evidence in order to systematically advise their clients as to which occupations would best fit their lifestyle [1]. Occupational Therapists are not strictly limited to being a therapist, as they can also take on roles of a researcher, or manager.

[edit] Typical Workday

Occupational Therapists can work in facilities such as a hospital, community settings such as youth homes, and business settings such as rehabilitation companies [1] Since Occupational Therapists generally work in hospitals, their work schedules are consistently busy, and Occupational Therapist are most often hired in urban settings, versus rural settings. The hours an Occupational Therapist work are usually traditional daytime hours beginning approximately around 8am and ending around 5pm. Occupational Therapists work with clients who want to improve their daily lives by enhancing their cognitive skills, their physical skills and their social relationships. Clients range from all ages, and the typical number an Occupational Therapist sees within a day is approximately 30-35 individuals [1]. The main source of revenue for Occupational Therapists comes from government funding [1]. Potential clients of an Occupational Therapist include individuals who are suffering from poor mental health, individuals who are amputees and wish to learn to adapt to their new situation, or individuals who simply wish to improve their general functional abilities for their day-to-day life [1].

[edit] Educational requirements and other qualifications

Individuals who are seeking a career as an Occupation Therapist must provide multiple qualifications and requirements for the individual to be suitable for the job.

  • Individuals must complete a B.A. in Psychology, prior to the B.A. a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy
  • Registration with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario‬‬‬‬ [2]

Schools in Canada that provide opportunities of a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy include:

  • Western University
  • Dalhousie University
  • University of British Columbia
  • McMaster University

Typically, individuals should have strong communication skills, organizational skills and ‪excellent problem solving skills‬‬‬‬ in order to be successful as an Occupational Therapist. Individuals must also be flexible with their schedules and have a way to travel, as therapists have the potential to be moved between hospitals and/or other work environments. Training is not necessary, however previous experience in hospital settings is preferred.

[edit] Related skills, interests and abilities

Occupational Therapists must be open-minded, non-judgmental, and flexible towards their clients in order to choose occupations that are best fit for their client [1]. The skills mentioned above are both transferable and job-specific; Occupational Therapists can use their skills in the multiple settings that Occupational Therapists work in, including hospitals and youth homes [1]. Occupational Therapists need to have the ability to successfully use their given skills with their clients, as clients will progress independently and therefore Occupational Therapists must acquire flexibility and be open-minded. Occupational Therapists must also be capable of appropriately using skills such as assessing, planning, coaching and enabling adaptation, to name a few [1]. Occupational Therapists must keep track of the progress of their clients, and by doing so, the therapist must stay organized and prepared to help their clients with the next step of therapy.

[edit] Relevance of Psychology degree

To be an Occupational Therapist, one must be flexible and open-minded when helping clients form occupations to help improve their daily life activities. In relation to Psychology, Psychology students learn about different cognitive, social, and physical impairments, which generally clients who go to see Occupational Therapists have deficits ranging from mental, physical or emotional issues. Psychology students use their skills of flexibility and open-mindedness in classes such as Abnormal Psychology when discussing sensitive topics such as mental health issues (depression, schizophrenia, PTSD, etc.). Since Psychology students learn about individual’s behaviour and brain activity, Psychology students will have a knowledgeable background on how to provide individuals with a proper occupation that fits both the individuals behaviour as well as their cognitive abilities. Psychology students also learn about the concepts of time management and organization in Stress in Psychology, as the students must examine how they manage their stress appropriately and what actions are put into place to decrease their stress. Occupational Therapists must use skills such as time management and organization to help their clients decrease their stress, as clients may find changing their behaviour to be stressful as it can be overwhelming. Therapists indicate proper occupations for their clients, based on their clients current lifestyle.

[edit] Salary potential

Occupational Therapists who do not work full-time and full-year have an average employment income of $34,058 [3] Occupational Therapists who work full time, all year, have an average income of $50,057 [1].

[edit] Job outlook

Demand will vary depending on rural versus urban areas, as Occupational Therapist have a higher demand where the population is higher and there are more hospitals and other resources available [1].

[edit] To know more

[edit] Notes and References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 References. Retrieved from
  2. References. Retrieved from
  3. References. Retrieved from
  1. Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. (2012). Profile of occupational therapy practice in Canada. Ottawa, ON: CAOT.
  2. Townsend, E.A. & Polatajko, H. J. (2013). Enabling occupation II: Advancing an occupational therapy vision for health, well-being & justice through occupation, 2nd Ed.. Ottawa, ON: CAOT.
  3. Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. Retrieved from
  4. What is Occupational Therapy?. Retrieved from
  5. Occupational Therapist. Retrieved from
  6. Service Canada. Retrieved from
  7. Occupational Therapist Profession. Retrieved from
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