Melissa D. Hulton, OTR/L, Director of Occupational Therapy at The Kingsbury Center, explains what “occupational” means when discussing her profession.
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me as an Occupational Therapist, “Do you help people get jobs?” I’d be rich (in the monetary sense). I already consider myself “rich” in terms of having a satisfying and enriching profession. Now to answer the question I’m often asked, no, it is not the role of an Occupational Therapist to find employment for people.
So why is “occupational” used to describe this line of work? Occupation is not just a person’s job or profession. It is also defined as an activity that a person spends time doing. Occupational Therapists (OTs) work with individuals throughout the lifespan who are affected by an injury or disability. OTs use therapeutic activities to help their clients become as independent and functional as possible in the “activities” that they both need and desire to do.