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Occupational Therapists

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

The well-rounded occupational therapist (OT) must be able to plan, organize, and conduct OT programs in a variety of settings to help rehabilitate those impaired because of illness, injury, or psychological or developmental problems. This involves testing patients' abilities to determine rehabilitation goals, selecting activities that will help patients learn the skills they are capable of, and evaluating each patient's progress in learning those skills, as well as training caregivers to be able to provide for the needs of the patient during and after therapy, among many other interventions. These actions by the OT require basic skills in listening, critical thinking, social perceptiveness, time management, and active learning, among other skills, so that the patient's progress may continue. The challenges of the patient-OT relationship require that the OT be empathetic, flexible, cooperative, and creative in approaching his or her work with the patient.

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