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Aug 21, 2017
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  1. Pre-Occupational Therapy
I must apologize for being extraordinarily dumb or lazy, but I am just starting exploring this OT job option and am still struggling to understand the scope of work. ok, ADL.. but how exactly? Let's say, a woman in her 30s is injured in a car accident, her limbs are there but she lost the ability to control them. Will it be an OT's job to teach her walk again? At first I thought OT is about treating illnesses (including mental) THROUGH occupations as I truly believe in therapeutic powers of art and fitness)) but I discovered it is rather teaching older people how to button up with an unruly hand... Is it??!!


2+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2017
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  1. Occupational Therapist
I'm a COTA, and have always felt that OT is a more liberated PT. We can do the same things that a PT does, but we have a different end goal. I work very closely with PT's and we constantly overlap in our treatments. If we have a patient working on sitting balance on the mat, the PT is looking for good postural control for balance in preparation to walk and be functional. I am looking for good sitting balance and postural control for dressing. Can they maintain their balance when sitting at the edge of the bed putting their shirt or shoes on. So the PT and I are doing the same activity, but I am using it for a different purpose. Currently most OTs focus on ADLs as a big part of our job, because that is what insurance companies are looking and paying for. You can incorporate more holistic activities as part of the ADL and IADL process. I have always like the saying "a PT can teach you to walk, an OT can teach you to dance." Because, we focus on activities that help the patient live their lives as independent as possible. Whatever they were doing in their daily live before their injury or illness, we work to get them back to it.

Hope this helps clarify it a little bit more.
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