The Difference between Occupational and Physical Therapists Essay

The Difference between Occupational and Physical Therapists Essay

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Many people believe that occupational and physical therapists are interchangeable, but in reality they are two very different fields of work. Occupational and physical therapists can be compared in three different aspects; the educational requirements to become certified, the type of patients they work with, and the tasks and activities they perform to improve the patient’s life. These fields both work in the health care department and often work together to help assist a patient.
Beginning with the educational requirements both of these areas of study require four years of prerequisite classes to prepare the student to apply to a college or program of study. The prerequisite classes can include General Biology, Physics, Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, General Psychology, Exercise Physiology, and Kinesiology (“Pre-Physical Therapy” 2013). However, that is where the similarities end. After the prerequisites the education goes in two different directions. For Physical therapy, professional or entry-level education programs are offered at different degree levels. These include a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree, a Master of Physical Therapy (MPT), or Master of Science in Physical Therapy Degree (“Physical Therapists” 2013). Then after completing these programs and some experience with field work there is a board examination to become an accredited physical therapist. On the other hand, for occupational therapy the first thing to become is to obtain your Bachelor’s degree. Some different methods will assist in becoming a certified occupational therapist. Some of these choices include anthropology, sociology, and psychology. The next step is to earn a Master’s Degree. It takes approximately two years to complete a Master’s degre...


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...ons to hold and both help individuals in a great way.
Overall, both are very similar in the elements of the educational requirements to become certified, the type of patients they work with, and the tasks and activities they preform to improve the patient’s life, but they also hold their respective differences. This was a brief overview of the main points for the similarities and differences in these two fields. I have done this for my own personal benefit. I have been debating for the past year or so about which direction I wanted to take for my college education. I knew that I wanted to be in one of these two fields, but I had yet to make up my mind. This essay has helped me greatly in understanding the duties and responsibilities of each of the therapists. I have still not decided; however, this has given me much more information on which to base my decision.


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