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Posts Tagged ‘occupational therapists’

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

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!


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.

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Sydney Master of Occupational Therapy students gain practical experience on placement

A group of Master of Occupational Therapy students recently completed an eight-week placement in Broken Hill, a mining town in the the New South Wales outback.

The students worked with local children as part of the placement experience required for the two-year graduate entry master’s program.

University of Sydney OT students gain practical experience on placement

Sydney OT students found their placement on Broken Hill extremely rewarding (Photo credit: University of Sydney)

Lydia Tu, who took part in the placement, said that being a part of a program that makes a difference in children’s lives is an experience she’ll never forget.

“Often children in Broken Hill can have developmental delays because of factors like exposure to lead in their environment. When this is coupled with a shortage in the health workforce, it can be very difficult for these children. It was great to work with the children and see immense improvements in them at the end of the program.”

“Fieldwork provides hands on experience with real clients in a supervised environment allowing students to combine academic study with the practical abilities required of the occupational therapy profession,” said Dr Merrolee Penman, Senior Lecturer of Workplace Integrated Learning at the Faculty of Health Sciences.

“The best part of the placement experience was working with the children,” said, Sharon Yi Heng. “It’s great to be able to watch the children develop the skills required for school performance, achieve their goals, and grow in confidence. It was such an amazing feeling and very rewarding.”

The focus on peer supervision throughout the placement period encouraged leadership skills and the opportunity to put their learning into practice in real-world situations.

“One of the most valuable experiences I had was the peer supervision. We had lots of autonomy, meaning we had to be very independent in making clinical decisions. I definitely learned how to think on my feet and be flexible in my therapy session plans,” said Sharon.

Occupational therapists work with their clients to overcome barriers that may be preventing them from participating more fully in life. This might involve teaching alternative techniques to achieve a given task, or facilitating improvement of skills. Occupational therapists collaborate with family and carers where needed, and typically work in teams with other health professionals.

“I had the opportunity to practice my clinical reasoning, and develop my own style of practice and approach which is really great,” said Lydia. “I have definitely gained some paediatric skills which include understanding some of the underlying factors that contribute to difficulties with handwriting, how to be creative and make things interesting to engage children, and how to communicate and be firm with children when needed.”

University of Sydney Master of Occupational Therapy

The Sydney Master of Occupational Therapy is very popular among Canadian students. During this two-year degree, you will cover a wide range of topics including theories of what people do in daily life and why; knowledge of the development of human capabilities (e.g., cognitive, motor, psychosocial) and the ways in which injury and illness typically disrupt them; activity and environmental analysis; and theories and techniques for promoting participation in daily life. As part of your studies, you will complete more 1,000 hours of clinical placements, providing the opportunity to apply your knowledge and gain hands-on experience with real clients.

Program: Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Location: Lidcombe, (suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Semester intake: March
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2017 intake, the application deadline was September 30, 2016.

Apply to Sydney Occupational Therapy School!


Rehabilitation Sciences Information Sessions

Interested in rehabilitation sciences? Then don’t miss the upcoming OzTREKK Rehabilitation Sciences Information Sessions. Enjoy refreshments and the opportunity to speak with Australian uni representatives and alumni to learn more about how you can study in Australia and practice in Canada!

Simon Fraser University
Date: January 31, 2017
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: Blusson Hall, Room 9655

Western University
Date: February 9, 2017
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: UCC, Room 210

Don’t forget to RSVP for the OzTREKK Rehabilitation Sciences Information Sessions.


Do you have any questions about studying OT at the University of Sydney? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Admissions Officer Krista McVeigh at krista@oztrekk.com.

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Panel discusses challenges for occupational therapists

As part of the Sydney Ideas series, the Faculty of Health Sciences hosted a discussion on this past October featuring a panel of researchers, teachers and industry practitioners who spoke about implications for occupational therapists under the newly established National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is designed to help improve disability services and provide greater control and decision making for people with a disability in Australia.

Sydney Occupational Therapy School

Study at the University of Sydney!

The six panelists who spoke at the Law Foyer were Rachel Norris, Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Dr Rachael McDonald, Jennifer Duncan, Kim Bulkeley and Ann-Mason Furmage. Each panelist gave a presentation on her area of specialty followed by questions from the audience.

Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn is the director of the Centre for Disability Research & Policy at the University of Sydney. She spoke about education, employment and health as three areas Australia is falling down on its obligations to people with a disability: “Without health, education is challenging. Without education, employment is almost non-existent. We all… aspire to economic and social participation.” Professor Llewellyn referred to the new government reform as a social policy innovation and said, “The NDIS is about social and economic participation.”

“I think [the NDIS] is one of the most exciting things for participants with a disability and for health professionals who want to see people they treat getting the help they need and want from the system.” said Associate Professor Lynette Mackenzie, head of Occupational Therapy at the University of Sydney.

Launched in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania on July 1 this year, the NDIS is a fundamental change in service delivery for people with disabilities and will demand a different approach for service, especially for occupational therapists. “For occupational therapists as well as other health professionals there will be a major challenge in actually being person-centered in their practice” said A/Prof Mackenzie. “It will mean seeking out feedback from recipients of services about just how person-centered they are.”

“People with a disability will have a say in their own care, and should have more control over what health professionals can help them with,” added Mackenzie. “So often people with disabilities have to be content with what they are offered rather than with what they need or aspire to in their lives.”


Questions about Sydney Occupational Therapy School? Please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com, or phone Shannon toll free at 1 866-698-7355. Contact OzTREKK for more information about how you can study in Australia and about Occupational Therapy programs at Australian universities!


Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Australian Occupational Therapy School applications are open

Applications for Australian Occupational Therapy Schools for the 2014 intake are officially open via OzTREKK!

Occupational therapy, also known as OT, is concerned with promoting people’s occupational performance and health. This is done by assisting people in their adaptation to the demands of their environment, and promoting their capacity to perform daily activities in their occupation. Occupational therapists have a variety of career opportunities ranging from work in hospitals to rehabilitation units to school, and from workplace health and safety units to psychiatric clinics to research institutions.

In Australia, professional degrees are usually undertaken straight from high school at the undergraduate level, although graduate-entry Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degrees are now becoming more common in Australia. Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) programs allow graduates to seek certification as an occupational therapists upon completion of the degree. Bachelor of Occupational Therapy degrees in Australia are four years in duration, and suitable to those students who wish to gain entry into an occupational therapy program directly from high school, or who have completed an undergraduate degree in an area other than the science/health science field.

The following OzTREKK Australian universities offer Bachelor of Occupational Therapy programs:

The following OzTREKK Australian universities offer Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) programs:


For more information about how to become an occupational therapist, including OT program entry requirements, application deadlines, tuition fees, scholarships, please visit OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools page.

If you have any questions, please contact OzTREKK’s Australian Occupational Therapy Schools Officer Shannon Tilston:

Email Shannon at shannon@oztrekk.com, or phone Shannon toll free at 1 866-698-7355.

Contact OzTREKK for more information about how you can study in Australia and about Occupational Therapy programs at Australian universities.