Occupational therapists (OTs) work in various settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools, private practice, mental health, academia and others.
Some examples of the roles of OTs include:
In hospital settings, OTs assess client/patient function in activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), transfers, functional mobility, splinting, perception, cognition, and mood. Assessments inform treatment plans that reflect client and family-centred goals. OTs work in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
In mental health settings, OTs assess, plan and provide treatment and support for individuals living with mental illness. OTs often use individual and group therapy interventions to help clients participate in daily activities as independently as possible.
In school settings, OTs assist children, their parents and teachers in developing many things such as taking care of themselves, playing sports, managing their school work, or developing a leisure interest/hobby. For students who have difficulty with motor skills tasks, an OT may help the teacher recommend environmental modifications to promote student success.
In long-term care settings, OTs work with clients who cannot independently complete ADLs and IADLs and require some level of assistance with daily functioning.
OTs working in a private practice setting may focus on hand therapy, pediatric therapy, driving assessments and interventions, and other specialized areas.