About the OT Profession

submenu

About Our Profession

girl on medicine ballOccupational Therapists work with children and adults who have, or are at risk of having, difficulty performing everyday activities. Occupational therapists serve as vital members of an intervention team, consulting with individuals, families, physicians, physical and speech therapists, nurses, social workers, psychologists, vocational counselors, teachers and other specialists, to address active participation about everyday living of individuals, communities, and populations. Occupational therapists blend scientific knowledge of the human body, mind, emotions and spirit,  with an understanding of the challenges of disability, environment, and culture.

The occupational therapy process requires evaluation of person factors such as physical capacities, cognitive skills, emotional responses, and social adjustment; environmental factors such as the physical, social, and virtual environments, and performance factors such as descritions of activities that fill a person's day or how communities support persons with disabilities.  Occupational therapists then implement intervention using a combination of therapeutic activities, adaptive equipment and training in specialized techniques to develop or help individuals achieve the greatest possible function and participation within their communities. Occupational therapists also serve as managers, leaders of rehabilitation teams, and researchers studying the efficacy of therapeutic interventions.

What personal qualities does it take to be an Occupational Therapist?

  • Effective communication skills
  • Openness to new ways of being and living
  • Compassion
  • Flexibility
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Writing skills
  • Creativity
  • Problem solving skills

The University of Minnesota offers a Master of Occupational Therapy degree (MOT) which prepares students to sit for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and apply for state licensure to practice occupational therapy. The Program in Occupational Therapy also supports a doctoral degree in Rehabilitation Science which enables individuals to pursue research and teaching careers in rehabilitation.