Choosing the right career path for yourself is nothing but a daunting experience.
It is important to follow some basic steps to help guide you. Below are some methods people like myself, have used in asserting my choice for this career in Occupational Therapy.
Researching the Profession People wonder why Occupational Therapy above all other professions e.g. Nursing; Doctor; Midwifery; Teaching; Physiotherapy; Speech and Language Therapist etc. The answer is simple. In my experience, Occupational Therapy is a holistic profession. The profession refers to a professional using therapeutic activities that are meaningful and purposeful to the individual allowing them to “lead the life they want to endure”. Individuals are the driving force of their treatment as we simply are the facilitators to make it happen.
You will find many definitions of Occupational Therapy, the following website gives an inclusive view of OT:
Can I see my self in this profession? Once you have researched a bit more into the profession and you are intrigued by what they do. People have often decided to a train and take up a profession because it pays well and sometimes due to last resort, which is not a good idea, because you need to be passionate about a job you go into and train for. If you visualise yourself as a person creating opportunities for people to regain back their lives, then it may be for you.
Other considerations include what drew you to the profession. For some it is providing change; asserting new ways to challenge themselves career wise; others it is due to the diverse nature of the profession and its rewarding nature.
Visiting areas of Occupational Therapy? Researching into what an OT is a great start, now the next step is to see for your self what they actually do; Occupational Therapists work across all specialities including:
- Older Persons
- Learning Disabilties
- Mental Health
- Children and Young persons with Austistic Spectrum Disorders
- Dementia Care
- Reablement service
- Social Services - Housing and Adaptations
- Disabled Children
- Secure Services - High, Medium and Low secure
There are many more services Occupational Therapists are involved in. These would be found below, together with fact sheets giving you information about each specialist section.
Do you have the qualifications to do Occupational Therapy? When the decision is made that Occupational Therapy is the chosen career choice, or the next step is to look at what is required for you to undertake the course. It is a 3 year course (full-time), 4-5 years (part-time). Those figures are depending on the university you attend, since every university is different for part time students.
Open days at universities - find out when they are. If you cannot find if an OT tutor who will be there.
Ring the universities, they will more likely tell you. If all else fails, contact a university admission tutor for Occupational Therapy - these are good people to talk to because they will give you the specific requirements that you will need to get on to the course, the intakes, start, finish dates, interviews etc.
You apply through UCAS, you fill in an application form for your chosen university. At the end you will get a statement to state why you want to study Occupational Therapy or something similar.
UCAS supporting statement
The UCAS statement is similar to the supporting evidence part on a job application form where you would state:
- What interested you about OT?
- Why do I want to apply for OT?
- Your qualifications, skills and experience.
On the UCAS statement section you have to say how the above would meet the requirements. For example: “I feel my qualifications and experience gained would meet the expectations and requirements for this job because.”
The assessors as such want to know if your experience and qualifications meet the requirements. If it helps, always have the requirements open in another tab on the internet browser. It will either be on the UCAS site or the university website. If not, phone the chosen universities and speak to an admissions tutor for OT and ask them. They are good people to liaise with.
Be specific and concise!
To do this, it helps to always write/type up a draft version of your statement so you can edit it perfect it.
Tags: Austistic-Spectrum-Disorders Children Course Dementia-Care Disabled Experience Interviews Learning-Disabilties Mental-Health Occupational-Therapists Older-Persons OT Reablement-service Requirements Secure-Services Skills Social-Services Stroke Students Tutor UCAS Young-persons