Occupational therapy is a vital health care service that uses “occupation,” meaning purposeful activity, as the basis for treatment of people with a wide variety of physical, developmental, and emotional disabilities.
Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help disabled people of all ages acquire or regain the skills they need to live independent, productive, and satisfying lives. They work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, public and private schools, and home health agencies.
Occupational therapy assistants work under the guidance of occupational therapists. They may choose or construct equipment that help people to function more independently; they may carry out treatment activities for individuals or groups of patients; and they work closely with families of patients who are preparing to return home.