Students most often look forward to clinical roles for fieldwork; however, there is much more to the field of occupational therapy than patient care.
Settings such as school systems, outpatient, home health, inpatient, and skilled nursing are just some of the standard patient care settings where students can gain experience before entering the field. So what else can students explore before entering the field?
Ergonomics consulting can take place within several non-traditional settings, including factories, desk spaces, and other common fixtures within workplaces.
Therapists perform ergonomic analyses for those currently experiencing symptoms of cumulative overuse syndromes or for those wishing to improve their wellness and prevent the onset of such symptoms.
These workers are considered clients, however, the setting in which consultation and therapeutic recommendations are provided are not the standard hospital setting.
Aging in place
Certified aging in place specialists (CAPSs) are therapists who work within the homes of clients with disabilities. Their primary form of recommendations and intervention is modifying the environment to be more accessible for current functional deficits a client is experiencing.
These modifications are also ideal for an aging population concerned about the accessibility of their homes and all its features. Interventions are in the form of modifications and recommendations, rather than therapeutic and functional activities.
Another non-clinical setting is wellness consulting, which can be done in community centers, senior centers, group homes, recreational facilities, and large employee workplaces.
Consumers of all kinds are considered the clients and intervention is provided in the form of education regarding general wellness techniques and health education.
For certain settings willing and able to furnish in-depth services, consultants can also provide evaluations to give individualized recommendations for lifestyle, diet, posture, habits, and more.
Some facilities and institutions may hire a similar consultant for the purposes of program development. Program development can be for patients in a standard clinical setting such as a nursing home or psychiatric facility, or for any of the facilities listed above with non-traditional clients.