5 min read

Occupational Therapist Job Description and Top Skills

Team Glider

Updated on January 12, 2024

What is an Occupational Therapist?

An occupational therapist (OT) is a licensed healthcare professional who specializes in helping individuals regain independence and achieve their optimal level of functioning in daily life activities. Occupational therapists assess clients’ physical, cognitive, emotional, and environmental factors to develop personalized treatment plans and interventions that promote meaningful engagement, productivity, and participation in activities of daily living (ADLs), work, leisure, and social roles.

Occupational Therapist Job Description

We are currently seeking dedicated and skilled occupational therapists to join our compassionate rehabilitation team. As integral members of our healthcare facility, successful candidates will play a crucial role in providing comprehensive occupational therapy services to individuals across the lifespan who are experiencing physical, cognitive, or psychosocial challenges.

As an occupational therapist, you will have the opportunity to work with clients of all ages and backgrounds, collaborate with interdisciplinary healthcare teams, and empower individuals to overcome barriers and live life to the fullest.

The ideal candidates will possess strong clinical skills, creativity, and a passion for improving clients’ quality of life through occupation-based interventions.

What Does an Occupational Therapist Do?

  • Evaluation and Assessment: Conduct comprehensive occupational therapy evaluations and assessments of clients’ functional abilities, performance skills, and environmental factors, using standardized assessments, observation, and client-centered interviews to identify strengths, challenges, and goals.
  • Analyze clients’ medical history, diagnostic test results, and referral information to establish accurate occupational therapy diagnoses, prognosis, and individualized treatment plans that address clients’ unique needs, goals, and preferences.
  • Develop evidence-based intervention plans and goals in collaboration with clients, families, caregivers, and interdisciplinary healthcare team members, incorporating client-centered care principles, best practices, and clinical guidelines into the rehabilitation process.
  • Treatment and Intervention: Implement evidence-based occupational therapy interventions, therapeutic activities, adaptive equipment/devices, and environmental modifications to address clients’ functional limitations, promote independence, and enhance performance in ADLs, instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), work, school, play, and social participation.
  • Educate clients and their families about their condition, treatment options, home exercise programs, adaptive strategies, and community resources, providing client-specific, culturally sensitive instruction to promote self-management, safety, and continuity of care.
  • Monitor clients’ progress, response to treatment, and functional outcomes regularly, reassessing and modifying intervention plans as needed to ensure effective rehabilitation, prevent complications, and achieve optimal client outcomes and satisfaction.
  • Collaboration and Communication: Collaborate effectively with interdisciplinary healthcare team members, including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, social workers, and rehabilitation aides, to coordinate client care, interdisciplinary referrals, and discharge planning, ensuring continuity of care and holistic rehabilitation.
  • Communicate with clients, families, caregivers, educators, employers, and community stakeholders in a clear, empathetic, and culturally sensitive manner, addressing their concerns, questions, and goals, and fostering collaborative partnerships, trust, and rapport in the rehabilitation process.
  • Documentation and Recordkeeping: Maintain accurate, timely, and comprehensive documentation of client evaluations, progress notes, treatment plans, goals, interventions, and discharge summaries in electronic health records (EHRs) or paper charts, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards, billing requirements, and documentation guidelines.
  • Adhere to professional, ethical, and legal standards of practice in occupational therapy documentation, including confidentiality, accuracy, objectivity, and accountability, to protect clients’ privacy rights, promote data integrity, and mitigate legal risks and liabilities.
  • Professional Development and Leadership: Engage in lifelong learning, continuing education, and professional development activities to enhance clinical expertise, expand knowledge of evidence-based practice, and stay abreast of advances in occupational therapy research, technology, and healthcare trends.
  • Participate in interdisciplinary team meetings, quality improvement initiatives, research projects, and community outreach programs to promote excellence in client care, clinical outcomes, and healthcare delivery, and to contribute to professional growth and leadership in the field of occupational therapy.

How Much Do Occupational Therapists Make?

In 2022, Occupational Therapists earned a median salary of $93,180. The highest quartile of earners in this field made $104,730, while the lowest quartile earned $77,700.

Skill Requirements

  • Clinical Expertise: Occupational therapists must possess advanced clinical knowledge, skills, and competencies in occupational therapy practice, including evaluation, intervention, and outcome assessment, to provide client-centered, evidence-based occupational therapy services across the lifespan.
  • Creativity and Innovation: Occupational therapists should demonstrate creativity, adaptability, and innovation in designing and implementing occupation-based interventions, therapeutic activities, and environmental modifications to address clients’ unique needs, goals, and preferences, and to promote meaningful engagement and participation in daily life activities.
  • Empathy and Cultural Competence: Occupational therapists must exhibit empathy, cultural competence, and sensitivity in understanding clients’ perspectives, values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds, respecting diversity, and tailoring interventions and communication styles to meet clients’ individual needs and preferences.
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Effective communication and interpersonal skills, both verbal and nonverbal, are essential for occupational therapists to establish rapport, build therapeutic relationships, and collaborate effectively with clients, families, caregivers, and interdisciplinary healthcare team members, promoting positive client experiences and outcomes.
  • Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking: Occupational therapists should possess strong problem-solving, critical thinking, and clinical reasoning abilities to analyze clients’ occupational performance issues, identify underlying factors, and develop client-centered intervention plans and strategies to address barriers and optimize client outcomes.
  • Teamwork and Collaboration: Occupational therapists must work collaboratively and cooperatively with interdisciplinary healthcare team members, including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, and social workers, to coordinate client care, interdisciplinary referrals, and discharge planning, ensuring holistic rehabilitation and continuity of care.
  • Professionalism and Ethics: Occupational therapists should uphold professional standards of practice, ethical principles, and regulatory requirements in occupational therapy care, including client confidentiality, informed consent, autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice, to ensure client-centered, compassionate, and ethical rehabilitation services.
  • Continuous Learning and Professional Development: Occupational therapists are encouraged to engage in continuous learning, lifelong education, and professional development activities to enhance clinical competencies, expand knowledge of evidence-based practice, and stay current with advances in occupational therapy research, technology, and healthcare policy.

Example KPIs for an Occupational Therapist

  • Client Functional Outcomes and Satisfaction: This KPI measures occupational therapists’ effectiveness in improving client functional outcomes, independence, and satisfaction with occupational therapy services, using standardized outcome measures, client-reported outcomes, and satisfaction surveys to evaluate intervention effectiveness and client-centered care.
  • Clinical Efficiency and Productivity: This KPI evaluates occupational therapists’ efficiency and productivity in managing client caseloads, scheduling appointments, documenting clinical encounters, and meeting productivity targets, optimizing clinic workflow, client throughput, and resource utilization while maintaining high-quality client care.
  • Interdisciplinary Team Collaboration: This KPI assesses occupational therapists’ collaboration, communication, and teamwork with interdisciplinary healthcare team members, including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers, to facilitate care coordination, interdisciplinary referrals, and discharge planning, promoting continuity of care and positive client outcomes.
  • Professional Development and Leadership: This KPI measures occupational therapists’ engagement in professional development activities, continuing education programs, and leadership initiatives to enhance clinical expertise, advance knowledge of evidence-based practice, and promote leadership skills and professional growth in the field of occupational therapy.
  • Quality Improvement and Research Participation: This KPI evaluates occupational therapists’ participation in quality improvement initiatives, research projects, and evidence-based practice initiatives to enhance clinical outcomes, client safety, and healthcare delivery, contributing to continuous improvement, innovation, and excellence in occupational therapy care.

How Can Glider AI Help You with Hiring an Occupational Therapist?

Glider’s recruitment platform is designed to prioritize competency over credentials, enabling organizations to assess candidates’ skills objectively and efficiently. Utilize Glider AI Skill Intelligence™ to streamline the hiring process, identify top-quality occupational therapist candidates, and ensure a mobile-first, candidate-friendly experience.

Glider AI’s Unique Features

  • Verify Medical Licenses
  • Validate Hundreds of Medical, Clinical, and Technical Skills
  • Ensure Hiring Compliance
  • Conversational Chatbot for Talent Screening
  • Powerful candidate analytics
  • Streamline Healthcare Hiring with AI and Automation

Go ahead and spotlight your Occupational Therapist with Glider AI today!

Schedule a Demo or contact us at info@glider.ai

CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT

Accelerate the hiring of top talent

Make talent quality your leading analytic with skills-based hiring solution.

Get started

Advanced Practice Nurse Job Description and Top Skills

What is an Advanced Practice Nurse? An advanced practice nurse (APN), also known as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), is a highly trained and specialized nurse with advanced clinical knowledge and skills. APNs have completed graduate-level education and hold advanced degrees, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing […]

Hospice Nurse Job Description and Top Skills

What is a Hospice Nurse? A hospice nurse, also known as a palliative care nurse, is a registered nurse (RN) with specialized training in providing compassionate end-of-life care to patients with terminal illnesses. Hospice nurses work collaboratively with interdisciplinary teams to address patients’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, focusing on comfort, dignity, and quality of […]

Patient Services Representative Job Description and Top Skills

What is a Patient Services Representative? A Patient Services Representative is responsible for providing front-line support to patients and their families, assisting with appointment scheduling, registration, insurance verification, and billing inquiries. Patient Services Representatives serve as the primary point of contact for patients, addressing their needs, answering questions, and facilitating access to healthcare services while […]
chevron-down