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How to become an Occupational Therapy Support

occupational therapy support careers

What does a Occupational Therapy Support do?

Occupational therapy support workers assist qualified therapists in helping clients, with a range of problems, to manage their daily activities. Clients may have mental, physical or social difficulties resulting from birth, illness, an accident or the ageing process. The occupational therapist assesses the client's particular needs with regards to certain tasks, and discusses ways to address the situation with them. Support workers help clients to think positively, work towards agreed targets, observe their progress, record developments, and provide regular reports for the supervising occupational therapist.

The work is likely to include:

  • enabling elderly people to live independently or to remain as active as possible
  • supporting patients with mental health problems, encouraging them to establish a daily routine and take part in activities outside the home
  • assisting children with physical disabilities, helping them to enjoy normal activities
  • enabling people who have had a stroke or been in an accident to adjust to their disability.
Work can be with individuals or groups, and may involve checking that equipment is available and in good working order, and keeping a record of items in stock.

What's the working environment like working as a Occupational Therapy Support?

Occupational therapy support workers usually work 37.5 hours a week. There are part-time and job share opportunities.

They can work in hospitals, day centres and residential homes, or visit patients in their own home. The job will involve a lot of walking, stretching, standing and bending.

What does it take to become a Occupational Therapy Support?

To be an occupational therapy support worker, you should:

  • be able to relate to people of all ages and backgrounds
  • have patience and good communication skills
  • be able to encourage people who may be frustrated at their rate of progress
  • be able to remain confident and enthusiastic when work does not have a positive result
  • be able to organise clients’ time efficiently
  • have practical skills, perhaps in cookery, woodwork or pottery
  • be able to keep clear, accurate records
  • be able to work alone and as part of a team.

Occupational Therapy Support Career Opportunities

Most occupational therapy support workers are employed by the NHS or social services, although there are some jobs in the private health sector and with voluntary organisations.

Support workers wishing to become qualified, may be able to undertake a four year in-service course leading to registration as an occupational therapist. Training involves completing a part-time degree and requires you to have the backing of your employer - the BAOT hold information on relevant course providers; check Further Information for contact details. Also, please check the Occupational Therapist job profile.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Occupational Therapy Support that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

NHS Learning and Development Service
Tel: 08000 150 850
Email: learning@nhscareers.nhs.uk

NHS Careers
PO Box 376
BS99 3EY
Tel: 0845 606 0655

British Association of Occupational Therapists/College of Occupational Therapists
106-114 Borough High Street
Tel: 020 7357 6480

Skills for Health
Goldsmiths House
Broad Plain
Tel: 0117 922 1155

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