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5 Myths and misconceptions about Occupational Therapy

Most people would not interpret the profession of an occupational therapist to its utmost accuracy. This could originate from the confusion surrounding the daily duties of an occupational therapist in general. Most people have built various myths and misconceptions around this profession. Here are some of the major myths and fallacies revolving around it

1.There is no difference between physical and occupational therapy

This is one of the major myths doing the rounds. In reality, physical therapists are those who help patients with physical activity and help in building their strength and agility. Occupational therapist, on the other hand, helps in the motor movements. This could be in the form of making someone more agile, flexible and help them develop a sense of balance and coordination in their movements. Physical therapist and occupational therapist are two sides of the same coin, in a sense.

Occupational Therapists are there to help improve the quality of life of their patients and assist them in being able to do everyday activities that they find difficult.

2.Occupational Therapists only take care of the elderly

While this population is part of the patient population that occupational therapists deal with however it is not the only kind. As an occupational therapist, the goal is to help a variety of people achieve their recovery goals- most typically to carry on their day to day routine and their life. These are a combination of motor skills and some mental tuning like picking up breakable items, learning to write, adapting to a new environment etc. a range of people can fit into any of these categories irrespective of their age. You could be working on a child one day, an adult another day and an elderly person the next day.

3. Occupational therapy repeats itself

As an occupational therapist your work set up, kinds of patients and environments keep varying. There may not be a single set up like a hospital or a clinic that you are working out of since every patient has a unique need and have a different environment to which they belong. The job of an occupational therapist is working towards recovery of a patient through innovative ideas by motivating them and thinking of novel ideas to implement them

4. Occupational therapists work in a medical set up

There is often confusion surrounding the environment in which occupational therapists work. Most people think they work for hospitals or clinics. Contrary to that an occupational therapist can work from a patient’s or client’s home, sometimes they may need to travel with the patient or client to their workplace so that the latter can benefit from their presence and work on their drawbacks.

5. Finding employment for others

It is quite deceiving to go with the name ‘occupational therapist’. For most, it refers to professionals who find others jobs or employment. On the other hand, it actually means finding ‘occupations’ which determine your life roles and goals thereby giving it some sort of meaning. Occupations in this context would mean daily activities like work, play, education, social activities and other instrumental activities.

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