In the recent few days many students who appeared for the CET in Maharashtra have been approaching the Occupational therapy departments in various hospitals to find out ‘What exactly is OT?’
The interesting part is they and their parents are equally curious to know what OT is, what’s the scope, where will I work after I complete graduation, what will be my pay scale and the most difficult one ‘what’s the difference between Occupational therapy & Physiotherapy’ aren’t they the same ? (Sometimes I wonder what went into the evolution of this question).
Anyways, I had an opportunity to counsel one of the students; it was a great learning experience for me to understand the perspective of a student about our profession. Frankly there was just one perspective; the only thing that she knew was that it was similar to physiotherapy and that Physiotherapy had a greater scope than Occupational therapy.
(Is it true, are we as professionals projecting this picture or our counterparts maligning our image?)
For the next fifteen minutes we had a conversation on understanding about OT, The term Occupation, the various areas that one can work as an OT & the pay scale depending upon the area of practice. The girl’s sister was happy to know but the girl was still confused as to what to select OT or PT?
(Retrospectively was I unable to explain her or is it my profession that is falling short to the successful picture of its counterpart?)
Then came the most dreaded question what’s the difference between OT & PT? Before answering the question I queried her ‘what made you to ask the question?’ She replied ‘Everybody says so’. And this everybody is the general population. Hmmmmm….
Each profession overlaps with other professions in certain areas of practice and may have a similar way of approach for eg Orthosurgeons and Neurosurgeons both operate on the spine on similar cases and diagnoses. Similarly Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy have areas of practise which overlap. But the philosophy of their origin is completely different. The approach of looking at a Human as a whole and how the ability to judge how a simple appearing PAIN may disrupt the functioning of a human in his/her environment is what an OT does.
I did refer her to a Physiotherapist to understand what physiotherapy is? I hope she decides whatever is best for her…….
Though with many students approaching to just query about Occupational therapy, it is in itself a shift ….…..a shift is happening in the progress of the profession in our country…….
PS :- I’m very happy that my neighbor has decided to do Occupational Therapy . Hope she gets into the profession which deals with Humans as BEINGS.