Occupational therapists wear a lot of hats. They are empathetic health care providers who are able to work with patients recovering from injury or struggling with chronic conditions. They are cheerleaders who help clients set and achieve therapeutic goals. They are creative problem solvers who can envision solutions or adaptations to help individuals succeed in the world around them.
With such a diverse job description, it's no surprise occupational therapists generally need a master's degree in the field, and supervised field work to gain real-world experience is also required, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The outlook for this career is bright: The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 33 percent growth between 2010 and 2020, and in 2011, the bureau reported a median nationwide wage of $73,820.
OT blogs to stretch your mind
The collection of blogs below represents a diverse range of perspectives on occupational therapy, from students to educators to patients. You can find posts reflecting on the field as a whole, insights into what it's like to work in occupational therapy and creative ideas for using everyday objects in therapy. Whether you're considering earning an occupational therapy degree or are already practicing in the field, these blogs can help you hook in to the online blog world of OT.
- ABC Therapeutics. Occupational therapist Chistopher Alterio, Dr.OT, OTR, is the founder of ABC Therapeutics, a New York-based practice focusing on pediatric occupational therapy and hand rehabilitation. Alterio offers a glimpse into the world of occupational therapy, with posts ranging from the day-to-day details of life in an OT office to more philosophical writings on ethics and responsibility in the field.
- ArmyOTGuy. Eric Johnson is an occupational therapist in the U.S. Army. His own experience with significant burns to his hands and arms led him to the pursue an occupational therapy degree, and he's since used his experience everywhere from Afghanistan to Walter Reed in Bethesda, Md., where he works with amputees. His blog posts range from thoughts on the Paralympics to reviews of iPad apps and accessories for therapists.
- Be the change you wish to see in the world. Occupational therapist Kara's blog is full of helpful tips for OTs, ranging from pediatric assessment techniques to computer games and apps to help with therapy. She loves to discover interesting tidbits about OT and share those insights with the world. If you're looking for a professional opinion on new techniques or want to get some fresh ideas for practice, this blog offers plenty of resources.
- Complete Rehab Solutions. This blog, run by Canadian occupational therapy group Complete Rehab Solutions, focuses on ergonomics and mobility in the home and office environments. Posts cover topics such as the science of sitting, lifting techniques and setting up your office workstation. The blog offers accessible information for consumers, but if you're in the Vancouver area, you can contact Complete Rehab Solutions to set up a personalized assessment.
- Days of Our OT Lives. Karen is an OT who works in the California school system. If you're interested in how she got there, you can follow her journey, which starts in 2007 with posts about her experiences earning an occupational therapy degree. More recent posts focus on occupational therapy in the media, ideas for new therapies and games for kids, and reflections on the OT blogosphere.
- Health Skills. Registered Occupational Therapist Bronwyn Thompson specializes in helping chronic pain sufferers, and she blogs about pain management, therapeutic techniques and the latest research. Based in Christchurch, New Zealand, Thompson's post combine technical topics with a focus on coping skills and the importance of a positive attitude.
- Occupational Therapy Notes. This blog follows the life of Cheryl, a busy occupational therapist, as she juggles work, industry conferences and family life. Blog posts range from musings on how to balance work and life to practical tips for therapists on writing goals or working with children.
- TechnOT by VirtualOT. Anita Hamilton is an Australian occupational therapist who has worked in mental health, vocational rehabilitation, and a private surgical hospital. She blogs at TechnOT by VirutalOT, which focuses on digital technology in occupational therapy education and practice. Whether you're looking for tips on how to use Twitter in your practice or want to stay current with new digital tools, this blog is a must-read for technologically oriented OTs.
- University of Salford Occupational Theray Education Blog. This blog is run by a group of occupational therapy teachers at the University of Salford in the U.K. You can get the inside scoop on occupational therapy programs from educators who design and the degree programs. Posts also include information on occupational therapy conferences or webinars, reading suggestions and reflections on this history of the profession.
- Your Therapy Source. This blog focuses on pediatric and special needs therapy, and topics range from fun therapy ideas (hole punch play dough, anyone?) to new research on issues such as cerebral palsy or ADHD. Check back regularly for updates and seasonally appropriate tips.
Occupational therapists are constantly on the lookout for new ways to help patients. Staying current in the field requires being up to date on the latest research, following new technologies and swapping tips with fellow OTs. Join the online occupational therapy community by following these blogs -- or starting your own.