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OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

Compensation

$37.30 to $55.25 per hour

Other benefits

Union

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA)

Education

Master’s degree in occupational therapy

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) certification

What does this job look like at AHS?

Occupational therapists (also known as OTs) understand how our minds and bodies work together, as well as and how injury, illness or mental health problems affect the activities or occupations we do every day. They work on solving problems and teaching new skills to enhance people’s ability to do activities or occupations that are important to them. Occupational therapists work with people of any age to promote health, prevent disability and develop or maintain abilities.

Occupational therapists ask their patients' what activities or occupations are most important to them in their particular situation. Then, they identify why some activities are difficult and work with the patient to find a solution. Occupational therapists assist a patient to learn new ways of doing things, improve physical and emotional ability, adapt materials or equipment they use and make changes to their home and work life.

In addition, occupational therapists often provide leadership and work guidance to occupational therapy assistants, students and sometimes to other health care professionals.

Occupational therapists work in a variety of health care settings including hospitals, community health centres, continuing care facilities, clinics and within client homes. They are an important part of an individual’s overall health care team. Although they often work one-on-one with patients, occupational therapists also work in partnership with other therapists, nurses, physicians, educators and employers.

Occupational therapists may work full-time or part-time hours or on a call-in (casual) basis. They can apply for positions that are permanent, temporary or casual depending on department and facility needs. Shift schedules may include a combination of day, evening, weekend and holiday shifts, as well as on-call duty.

Occupational therapists may spend a lot of time standing and bending while supporting and assisting patients. They may also be required to lift, move and transport equipment. At times, they may need to be in awkward positions during therapy sessions.

To learn more visit Alberta Learning Information Services (ALIS).

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