Each year since 1980, the month of April has been declared Occupational Therapy Month. This year is a special celebration as the field of Occupational Therapy is celebrating 100 years! The new theme for the American Occupational Therapy Association is “Occupational Therapy: Living Life to Its Fullest™” and is exactly what the approximately 115,000 Occupational Therapists (OTs) and 41,000 Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides (OTAs) help their patients do every day. OTs treat patients across the lifespan by helping them regain skills after injury or illness, helping them adapt or overcome the challenges of a disability, and take a holistic approach to promoting healthier living.
For 100 years, OT professionals have evaluated their patients, designed and determined the best interventions based on the needs and input of the patient, and helped them achieve positive outcomes. OTs and OTAs work in a variety of clinical settings from local schools, to hospitals and clinics, to skilled nursing facilities and even providing therapy in the patient’s home.
In honor of the men and women who have chosen Occupational Therapy as their career of choice, take advantage of the many online resources that are available and being promoted during OT Month. The website, www.otcentennial.org contains a plethora of stories about the history of OT and contains links to photos of OT throughout the past 100 years. Through Allied Health Media, our Learning Center features CEUs from the most comprehensive online therapy education sources.
In addition to checking out the fun historical tribute to OTs, there are other ways you can participate in OT Month. One of the easiest things you can do is post something on one of your social media sites and refer to #OTMonth or the “Occupational Therapy: Living Life to Its Fullest™” campaign. Another easy way to spread the word is to visit with a local group and give a short presentation on OT services or speak at a school or community college.
For those that have already chosen OT as their profession, the prospects are very bright for the future. Estimates show that there will be a 27% increase in OT jobs and an almost 40% increase in OTA jobs. You can find open OT positions in your area or across the nation here.
Tell us about your experiences with an OT or as an OT in the comments section below. Or drop by our Facebook page and share your story with us. Thank you and congratulations to all our OT professionals for 100 years of caring and helping others to regain or reach their full potential.