Oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pists in de­mand

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - COURSE FOCUS -

“THERE is a large global de­mand for pro­fes­sion­ally trained oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pists, in­clud­ing in Malaysia,” says Prof Nathan Vy­tialingam, dean of the Per­dana Univer­sity School of Oc­cu­pa­tional Ther­apy ( PUScOT).

The World Fed­er­a­tion of Oc­cu­pa­tional Ther­a­pists ( WFOT) hu­man re­source pro­ject re­port in 2014 stated that Malaysia had about 1,400 oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pists.

This num­ber had to cater to the needs of 30 mil­lion cit­i­zens, which is one oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist to about 21,000 peo­ple.

Oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pists cater to the needs of peo­ple from all walks of life, in­clud­ing chil­dren with chal­leng­ing con­di­tions, adults with phys­i­cal and men­tal is­sues and el­derly care.

With Malaysia ap­proach­ing an age­ing na­tion sta­tus, there will be a need to look into spe­cialised care for the el­derly.

There is also a de­mand for oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pists who spe­cialise in the de­sign of as­sis­tive devices such as gad­gets to mon­i­tor the el­derly and their move­ments.

Ac­cord­ing to Prof Nathan, there are many ar­eas of prac­tice that oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pists can spe­cialise in, such as pae­di­atric, geri­atric or men­tal and phys­i­cal care.

Oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pists pro­vide ser­vices needed in hospi­tals, com­mu­nity- based re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tres, nurs­ing homes, spe­cial education, in­dus­trial and com­mer­cial or­gan­i­sa­tions, ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions and in pri­vate prac­tice.

Oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy pro­cesses are used as a guid­ance in man­ag­ing clients’ ther­apy.

The cy­cle starts with an eval­u­a­tion, which is a process of ob­tain­ing sys­tem­atic and com­pre­hen­sive data to un­der­stand the client’s prob­lem, among oth­ers.

Next is the in­ter­ven­tion phase, which fa­cil­i­tates and op­ti­mises a client’s per­for­mance fol­lowed by re- eval­u­a­tion, which is cru­cial to com­pare per­for­mance be­fore and af­ter re­ceiv­ing ther­apy.

The oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy de­gree at Per­dana Univer­sity is a four- year pro­gramme and has been de­vel­oped with the con­sul­ta­tion of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional health­care pro­fes­sion­als.

The pro­gramme of­fers 1,360 clin­i­cal hours and ful­fils the re­quire­ment of 1,000 hours re­quired by the WFOT.

The pro­gramme in­cludes two spe­cialised mod­ules – oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy in el­derly care and oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy in sex­u­al­ity and dis­abil­ity. Th­ese mod­ules are of­fered only at PUScOT.

SPM or O- Lev­els grad­u­ates who are ea­ger to pur­sue a ca­reer as an oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist may en­rol in the Per­dana Univer­sity Foun­da­tion in Sci­ence pro­gramme.

This one- year pro­gramme is a path­way de­signed for di­rect pro­gres­sion to the Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Oc­cu­pa­tional Ther­apy pro­gramme.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit per­danau­ni­ver­sity. edu. my.

Per­dana Univer­sity of­fers a four- year oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy de­gree pro­gramme that in­cludes spe­cialised mod­ules.

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