We celebrate National Occupational Therapy month each April as a time to promote theprofession and to spread the word on the value of occupational therapy services. Let’stake some time in this blog to remember the history of the profession, talk about the profession today, and think of a few ways to celebrate.
The History of OT
Occupational therapy actually began in the 1700s in the area of mental health when it was decided that those suffering from mental illness should be treated more humanely. At that time, occupations were prescribed to consume these individual’s energy in goal directed tasks. The profession gained attention and expanded its definition following World War I and World War II as soldiers were rehabbed to return to daily function after being injured in battle. Although today the work of an occupational therapist is very different than that of the pioneers of the profession, the root of occupational therapy remains as holistic treatment to assist individuals with returning to and continuing participation in activities they want and need to do.
The OT Profession Today
According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, the OT profession has been growing over the last several years much faster than the average profession and there are over 110,000 occupational therapists working in the United States. OT students are able to find jobs soon after completing their college education. A high percentage of occupational therapists are employed in schools, hospitals, and nursing facilities, but OTs are also found in outpatient centers, home health, academia, behavioral health, and working in community initiatives as well.
How Are You Celebrating OT Month?
Here are a few ideas:
- Spread the word. Since OT month is about promoting the profession, play your part in this by educating at least one individual this month (or hundreds if you use social media) on how they or someone they know may benefit from the services of an occupational therapist.
- Buy or find something new for your clinic to purchase. It is easy to get into a rhythm with treatment and to find ourselves using interventions that we are comfortable with. Every once in a while, it is good to look for new products and ideas. The 3pp Design LineThumb Splint combines comfort & fashion in a whole new way. Available in 4 fashion patterns, the Design Line Thumb Arthritis Splints support the CMC joint for relief of the grinding pain of CMC joint arthritis. It's easy-to-apply and fully adjustable for a customized fit.
- Enjoy some OT research. As a profession, we are gathering more evidence on the treatments the OT profession offers. Take some time this month to read or browse through some of the latest study findings related to the area you work in.
Happy OT month to all our readers!