What skills do you need to become an occupational therapist?
In order to be able to carry out the role of an Occupational Therapist you firstly need to have acquired and studied for the relevant qualifications and then began training within the NHS or another trust or authority to really understand this career.
But there are some personal skills that we think individuals thinking about taking up this career need to already possess and we have put together as short list of the most important skills and qualities that are needed to be an Occupational Therapist.
- You need to have a practical and creative approach – that is to both your work and your patients. They are needing you to develop a rehabilitation program that is designed to meet their needs and ultimately help them to improve their health or social skills etc. So you need to have the right approach to each individual case.
- The ability to see another perspective – to properly understand the different factors that will affect a person’s individual outlook you need to be able to see it from their point of view. You cannot be judgemental and you need to remain impartial.
- You must have excellent communication skills – you will be working with a variety of patients all with their own problems and you need to be able to communicate and at times negotiate their treatment plan with them and this will be difficult with certain individuals. You also need to be able to communicate with other professional’s e.g. doctors so you are all working towards the same aim.
- Ability to relate to people – everyone is different so you need to be able to be understanding and make them feel comfortable.
- Be able to multi task – there will be times when you will need to doing more than one thing at once. So you will need to be able to combine a whole range of activities.
- Remain responsible and professional at all times – this is a vital skill and an approach that all Occupational Therapists need to adhere to. At the end of the day all of your decisions need to be made with the same intent which is to support the patient and have their best interests.
The list above is designed to give you an insight into the kind of personal attributes you will need to have in order to fulfil your job role to your full potential and ultimately so that you can provide the best service for your patients!