What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a science-driven, evidence-based profession that enables people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health and prevent or live better with illness, injury or disability.

The occupational therapist enters the field with a master’s or doctoral degree. The occupational therapy assistant generally earns an associate degree. Practitioners must complete supervised clinical internships in a variety of health care settings, and pass a national examination. Most states also regulate occupational therapy practice. The Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Medicine licenses Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants.

In today’s health care and social landscape, occupational therapy practitioners can be found in six broad areas of practice:

Mental Health                   Productive Aging
Children and Youth          Health & Wellness
Work and Industry           Rehabilitation, Disability, and Participation

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