6 Traits You Want in Your Next Occupational Therapist
Top occupational therapists are true all-rounders – organised, clear-thinking, outcome-focused and always positive. So, an ideal occupational therapist needs to be the total package in terms of skills, attitude and personality. WHAT AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST DOES Occupational therapists or OTs help ill, injured or disabled people manage the challenges of everyday life. This means…
Top occupational therapists are true all-rounders – organised, clear-thinking, outcome-focused and always positive.
So, an ideal occupational therapist needs to be the total package in terms of skills, attitude and personality.
WHAT AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST DOES
Occupational therapists or OTs help ill, injured or disabled people manage the challenges of everyday life.
This means helping the person adapt to their injury, illness or disability so they can negotiate their home, workplace and outside world.
Some OTs work only with children or the elderly. Whatever the patient group or clientele, the aim of an OT is to maximise the person’s functionality and independence. This in turn enriches their lifestyle.
TRAITS TO LOOK FOR IN AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
- Strong personal skills
OTs achieve their best results when they win the trust of their patients. So, your OT must have outstanding interpersonal skills and the ability to relate to many different personality types.
This involves an intuitive nature and a flexible approach to cases. OTs will work with people who feel angry, frustrated and scared so a calm, positive, unflappable approach is essential.
- Outstanding communication
There’s no room for misunderstandings in the field of occupational therapy. You have to know your OT will consistently give clear instructions and persevere until the patient has mastered the task in hand.
It may be necessary to modify a disabled person’s home or workplace to help them negotiate the space more easily.
An OT may therefore need to explain to patients how a piece of technology or software works. It’s important to be able to explain complex subjects in simple language.
- Problem solving expertise
Good OTs excel when it comes to solving problems with lateral and creative thinking.
Because every patient has a unique set of challenges, the OT must customise a plan which overcomes very specific issues.
This often means tackling problems in fresh or novel ways. An enthusiastic candidate who loves challenges will therefore be ahead of the game.
- Good observation
Watching is critical for an occupational therapist. Through careful observation, the OT can see what’s holding a patient back and assess what modifications are needed to move things along.
Good analytical skills are also needed to come up with innovative solutions to a patient’s often complex problems.
- Organisational skills
Time management is top priority for a successful OT. As well as running their own schedules, occupational therapists are expected to help patients plan and manage their daily timetables.
Strong organisational skills are needed to work out well-ordered, effective treatment plans and keep on top of extensive documentation.
- Caring nature
It’s impossible to be a good OT if you don’t have a caring, compassionate nature. Real change happens when OT and patient build a relationship based on trust and mutual respect.
The best OTs leave their patients feeling empowered and optimistic about the future.
If recruiting an occupational therapist is getting you down, why not consult specialist hirers with years of experience in health sector recruitment?