“Kindness can transform someone’s dark moment with a blaze of light. You’ll never know how much your caring matter. Make a difference for another today.” – Amy Leigh Mercree, Author/Medical Intuitive Occupational Therapy
Are you fascinated with how people function physically, mentally and emotionally? Were you intrigued with the study of behaviour and mind? Interested in the opportunity to work with various individuals from all walks of life? Are you passionate about helping others? Then follow your passion for both the Science and Arts by becoming certified in Occupational Therapy.
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What is Occupational Therapy?
OT is a health profession that promotes skill development and utilizes activities (occupations) with specific goals to help individuals of all ages to participate in activities of daily living. This includes and not limited to self-care, work, school and leisure. A field that uses the activities that are most important to people as the basis and end goal of therapy, it is believed that by partaking in meaningful activities and roles essential to the individual helps to sustain or improve his or her health and well-being. Thus, occupational therapist would assist the individual in gaining a better function of their bodies in order to perform better in their daily routine.
Concurrently, occupational therapists would conduct thorough evaluation of a patient’s abilities and environment. As OT handles people with a range of conditions, including individuals with physical disabilities, mental or social difficulties either from birth or due to an accident, illness or ageing, it encourages creativity when evaluating each different patient and to provide continuous progress evaluations. Thus the duties of OT are to work in a clinical environment or even the patient’s residence.
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Why a career in Occupational Therapy?
Although no single group of professionals holds the key to the future of health and social care system, arguably occupational therapist has more influence than most. Occupational therapy has a huge potential to play an influential role in ensuring the continued existence of the system deep into the 21st Century, seeing the various critical challenges that exist in the community such as the ageing population, the need to keep people out of pricey hospital beds and nursing homes, and the imperative to integrate services.
Job security and availability is generally a top priority for many, and as such we have found that occupational therapy is on the rise and will continue to be in demand for many years to come.
A career as an Occupational therapist is indeed a practical and grounded profession.
Employment of occupational therapists in the US is projected to grow 27% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Occupational therapy will continue to be an important part of treatment for people with various illnesses and disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy, autism, or the loss of a limb.
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Occupational therapy is a graduate-entry profession. In Singapore, only Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) offers a 3-year Diploma in Occupational Therapy course. Thereafter, Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin, offers a 1-year degree-conversion programme for NYP graduates.
There are several recognised qualifications* from abroad that are also available for you to pursue. For instance, with a minimum A Level entry requirement of BCC, Queen Margaret University (ranked 16th in Nursing & Health Science in the UK, The Guardian) and Glasgow Caledonian University offers a 4-year course for BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy (approved by the Health and Care Professions Council) to provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge in a range of human service settings in one of the largest teaching departments in the university, with an excellent track record. Choices are also available for Cardiff University and La Trobe University in Australia
For those without the required tertiary level qualifications but are still keen in pursuing the course, there are several foundation program pathways that are available to choose from that will still allow you to head towards being an occupational therapist. For instance, the University of Sydney in partnership with Taylors College Sydney, offers the University of Sydney Foundation Program (USFP) that provides an ideal preparation for the BSc Occupational Therapy program. Depending on your previous achievements and their requirements, USFP will last between 30 to 59 weeks, providing a strong academic foundation for students to successfully progress to the University of Sydney.
[*Above mentioned courses are registrable qualifications in occupational therapy with the Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC).]
Join a career that will not only change your life but also make a positive impact on other lives too. Take the next step toward becoming an Occupational Therapist.
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