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8 Feb 2017

Occupational Therapists: A Day in the Life

Daily Life

Occupational therapists can expect a huge variety of patients and jobs in their daily routines, especially if they work in a hospital or in a community-based clinic.

Typically the daily life of an occupational therapist would start by reviewing the daily caseload. This includes reviewing case notes and working out journey times for if there are any house calls needed to be made. 

It may also include reviewing services and programmes to ensure you are up to speed with what is offered and what you can do to help within the structuer of them.

A typical day may only include 4 or 5 clients, with each one creating its own challenge as you try and come up with solutions to make them more comfortable in daily life or assist them in their workplace.

If you have repeated clients these could involve visits to see how previous solutions are helping them and to see if there is anything else that can be done along with setting regular goals for them to work towards. These goals could include everything from incrementally increasing time spent out of a wheelchair to sight-strengthening exercises.

If you aren't based in one place, then you may find yourself covering a lot of ground in one day. This makes having good local knowledge important as well as good time management to keep notes up to date between visits.

Some days you may find that clients are unable to tolerate long visits, meaning you have to tailor a care plan for them that works in such a small time period. Other clients may need much longer consultations; this means that regular breaks and lunchtimes are not a thing and you have to fit them in as and when you can unless you are in a hospital or static clinic.

The days can end early once you have worked your caseload or they could run deep into the evening, depending on the clients on the books that day and on what kind of care and treatment they need.

Ultimately, the goal occupational therapists face is to assist clients in their rehabilitation as they get over or work through an illness or injury. Whilst it's hard work, the rewards of seeing people recover and improve their daily lives as a result of your care and planning make it all worthwhile.