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Obtaining a Master’s in Occupational Therapy degree is a great way to begin a rewarding career in this field. The growing population of older citizens makes it necessary for more healthcare providers to begin training. Students in an occupational therapy program gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be able to assist millions of disabled people. Getting admitted to a graduate program in this field means you must have already completed an undergraduate degree.
What Is a Master’s in Occupational Therapy?
A Master’s in Occupational Therapy is a program offered by a university that leads to a career as an occupational therapist. In most cases, these programs must be certified by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. During the course of study, students examine common disabilities that individuals experience. These disabilities can be temporary from specific diseases or as a result of an accident or surgery, or they may be permanent disabilities. The goal of the occupational therapy student is to learn the techniques to help people get back to their daily routine. Canadian universities that offer programs in graduate occupational therapy are Dalhousie University, McGill University, University of Manitoba and University of Western Ontario.
This program usually takes a student about two years to finish if full-time study is pursued. Like many other degree programs that lead to professional work in healthcare, study in the field is required. Typically, the first year of study is devoted to theory and analysis, while the second year introduces hands-on training in occupational therapy. The courses that many students take in occupational therapy programs are:
- Occupational Techniques: This course allows students to understand the importance of different daily tasks. It also introduces students to ways to develop mobility for everyday tasks.
- Human Anatomy: Students must have a high level of knowledge about the human body in order to determine best practices to increase mobility.
- Occupational Assessment: The different methods of assessing patient limitation and mobility are studied, so students can determine treatment options.
- Occupational Performance: This course gives students a way to see how a patient’s specific health condition impacts his or her ability to perform routine tasks.
- Field Internship: Students are placed in a field setting, such as a hospital or nursing home, in order to gain real life experience in occupational therapy.
What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Occupational Therapy in Canada?
The biggest benefit to getting a Master’s in Occupational Therapy is the knowledge that you are going to be helping many people improve their lives. Giving a disabled or injured person a way to be more independent can be a rewarding moment in your life. You also get an opportunity to become a certified occupational therapist once you have earned your degree. With your degree and certification, you may be able to find one of the many jobs in this field all over the country. Salary conditions for this line of work are strong because of the high level of demand in the field.
What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in Occupational Therapy?
After receiving a Master’s in Occupational Therapy, a majority of students go on to become certified occupational therapists. The coursework from your degree program is able to prepare you to tackle the assessment that leads to certification. Once you have earned your certification, you can then decide where you want to focus your talents. Occupational therapists work in many different healthcare settings around the country.
One of the places an occupational therapist may work is in an adult day care setting. Occupational therapists work with patients who are either elderly or disabled. Together with a patient’s medical doctor, you may implement a program that leads to a more independent lifestyle. There are plenty of opportunities for occupational therapists in a hospital setting as well. You may be providing occupational therapy to patients immediately after surgery or through chronic illnesses. Rehabilitation centers are also places where occupational therapists work. There are opportunities working with individuals who are recovering from traumatic injuries or disabilities. There are also ways to implement assertive technologies throughout the different settings of occupational therapy.
If a career in occupational therapy sounds appealing to you, it is a smart idea to pursue an advanced degree in the field. To get certified and get more career possibilities, you should choose a program that offers a Master’s in Occupational Therapy.