By Nadia Yala, Western Michigan University ‘15
An Occupational Therapist (OT) is a healthcare professional who uses a holistic approach to help people facing cognitive, physical, or emotional challenges participate in daily activities. Interventions involve assisting children with disabilities participate fully in school and social situations, helping individuals recovering from injury regain skills, and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
In my five-year program, courses included anatomy, physiology, psychology, neurology, and assistive technology. Some classes were lecture based, while others were more interactive. We often used case studies to gather information about a patient, discuss possible limitations in their daily life, organize the evaluation process, and plan intervention approaches. Because a patient’s insurance typically pays for OT intervention, we also learned about how to document the patient’s progress to show that our interventions were impactful.
After years of classes and part-time and full-time internships in various practice settings, we must pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). We can then begin our careers as OTs.