Occupational and physical therapy work to enhance people’s lives. While the medical staffing for these fields are related, their focus and scope varies.
Many individuals are unaware of occupational therapy, in part due to the name. Occupational therapists (OT) help patients with a wide range of duties that “occupy” their life. This may include working with babies too young for jobs and seniors too old to work.
With physical or emotional changes, an OT can assist people return to work. But OTs treat the whole well-being of a person. This includes self-care, social connection, and leisure activities.
Meanwhile, physical therapists (PT) are typically called “movement experts.” They can benefit people who desire to improve their fitness and general health. They assist patients recover from injuries and illnesses. They provide techniques to avoid injuries, procedures, and painkillers.
In the United States, OTs must have a master’s degree and be licensed by their state while PTs need a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree, which usually takes 3 years to earn. Besides studying aspects of biology, such as anatomy, neuroscience, and kinesiology, PTs study topics such as communications, finance, and ethics. They must also be licensed by their state.
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