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Occupational Therapy Technician

Work with Occupational Therapists to help patients learn basic life skills.

What does an Occupational Therapy Technician do?

When an injury or illness strikes, a patient’s life can completely change: Getting dressed is difficult when only one arm is working, and answering the phone is a challenge when you can no longer speak clearly. An Occupational Therapist puts together plans to help the patient improve, but the patient must practice and put those plans to work.

That’s where you – the Occupational Therapy Technician – come in. An Occupational Therapy Technician helps the patient master the exercises and perform them properly.

At the beginning of each session, you study the Occupational Therapist’s plans and determine what exercises you’ll perform that day. As an Occupational Therapy Technician, you don’t devise plans of your own. Your job, instead, is to describe each exercise to the patient, and demonstrate how it should be done. Then, you watch as the patient performs it.

In some exercises, you replicate the patient’s office and show them how to type, file, or perform work in a new way. In others, you ask patients to remember cards that you show them. In still others, you teach them to enunciate and speak without slurring.

At the end of each session, you write notes for the patient’s Doctor describing how the patient is progressing. Sometimes, you measure the patient’s strength, flexibility, or mental capacity, and you record the results of those tests as well. Patients can become irritable and angry during your sessions, and you do your best to remind them of their major goals. Returning to work may not be a thrill, but leaving pain behind may certainly be worthwhile.