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What is the difference between occupational therapy and physiotherapy?

There is often confusion between physiotherapy and occupational therapy. There are significant differences between the two professions, but also many areas where they overlap.

What is the difference between occupational therapy and physiotherapy?

OT can help kids with various needs improve their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills

  • Physiotherapy (or physical therapy) is a health care profession with a focus on assessing, improving and restoring physical function.
  • Occupational therapy also looks at physical function, but extends this to consider how this affects your ability to engage in occupation such as daily activities, leisure and work.

Occupational therapy also addresses the range of requirements for the patient including their mental and emotional well-being. Occupational therapists also have the knowledge and training to work with people with a mental illness or emotional problems such as depression and/or stress. Occupational therapists are also trained in adapting the environment or prescribing special equipment to help people reach their full potential.

OTs often work alongside physiotherapists, as part of a team of health professionals. While some areas may seem to overlap, (for example hand therapy), occupational therapists use and adapt occupations to treat or prevent occupational dysfunction due to physical, mental or environmental factors.

You will find occupational therapists working with patients across the human lifespan from infants to aged care and end of life. OTs work across the spectrum of services from mental health to acute medical and surgical services in various areas:

  • Aged care
  • Child health services
  • Community health services
  • Disability services
  • Independent living centres
  • Mental health services
  • Non-government organisations
  • Private practice
  • Public and private hospitals
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Research and development
  • Schools and tertiary education
  • Workplace health

Bond University Master of Occupational Therapy

Bond University’s Master of Occupational Therapy degree will take just two years full time to complete because of Bond’s unique accelerated three-semesters-a-year structure.

The program is the first occupational therapy master’s degree in Australia to provide the opportunity to complete a clinical research project or undertake business electives in preparation for an occupational therapy career in health management or private practice.

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
Intakes: May and September each year
Duration: 2 calendar years (6 semesters)
Application deadline: No set deadline. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Apply to the Bond Master of Occupational Therapy program!

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Do you have questions about studying at Bond Occupational Therapy School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Admissions Officer Heather Brown at heather@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

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