PHYSICAL THERAPY VS OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

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PHYSICAL THERAPY VS

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

Taylor H. Berlinger

FEBRUARY 22, 2014

UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI BLUE ASH

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The demand for Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy continues to rise each year, along with injuries that put patients in this scenario in the first place

(

Maura

,

2010

).

Whether the patient is an elderly adult looking for ways to go about their daily routines, or a teenager looking to strengthen his/her leg after a sports injury

,

therapy is needed for everyone

.

PT

s and OT

s are similar in a number of ways

,

and both share the same goals

;

the main priority being

;

keeping the patient healthy and promoting healthy living

.

Since the two professions are so similar and their work ethic is a lot like

,

both careers should share the same educational requirements

.

So what makes the two professions education level so immensely different

?

While PT

s are required to go to grad school after their bachelor

s degree to receive a Doctorate

,

OT

s are only required to have a bachelor

s degree

.

So what makes the educational levels so vastly different from each other

?

Although

,

OT

s do not require the same amount of education

,

information shows

,

this might not be the case in the next few years or so

.

Evidently

,

with these two professions being so similar

,

that they are also different in some ways as well

,

which could be the reason why they have different requirements in the first place

.

As studies show

,

the profession

s success rests deeply on the education and techniqual levels of each career

,

which is why patients seem to get better results from PT

s then OT

s

.

This research paper will discuss the similarities and differences between the two

,

detailed information on the educational requirements from both

,

and even some real life experiences from patients in each profession

.

Both health professions deserve to go through the same educational requirements

.

In order for both fields to be prepared the right way in treating patients

,

both PT

s

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and OT

s need to go through the right amount of education and experience to be the best that they can be

,

for the sake of patients around the world

.

Physical Therapists are there to help rehabilitate

,

improve

,

and motivate patients back to the healthy clients they once were

.

Physical Therapists will help reduce the pain that injuries have caused

,

and they do it in way where no surgeries or even medications are needed

.

PT

s treat patients

injuries by improving their mobility

,

and providing exercises to help strengthen their muscles and bones

.

Physical Therapists are mainly found in hospitals

,

but they can also be found in private facilities

,

outpatient clinics

,

schools

,

work settings

,

and even nursing homes

(

Concentra

,

2014

).

Occupational Therapists are more there for patients who need to be

brought back to life

.”

Patients who are unable to go through daily rituals or routines

,

such as brushing their teeth or getting dressed in the morning need a little bit of guidance or motivation

.

OT

s help their patients by providing them with special routines to let them go through the same activities they have always done

,

just this time

,

they are able to do them

.

They simply remove those obstacles from their daily lives (Gupta

,

Barbra and Pam

,

2008)

.

Occupational Therapists are mainly found in hospitals also but they can also be sent to homes as well and will treat patients from their homes

(

Concentra

,

2014

).

The similarities between Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists clearly weight out more than their differences

.

These two professions are strictly there to help patients

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patient and nothing more

.

They both work in similar facilities

,

both equipped with amenities to help out with all special needs that patients might require

.

PT

s and OT

s are their patients support group from start to finish

.

Both professions are very interactive with their clients and try and go through the work-outs with them to ensure they are more capable of doing the exercises

.

The difference between the two professions, however

,

is only slightly different in the area of how they are

rehabilitating

their patient

.

Physical Therapists are more in the

physical

aspect of rehab

.

Patients are sent to PT

s usually after an injury that has been done during a sporting event

,

and the injury is capable of being healed through a process of exercises and treatment they can receive through Physical Therapists

.

Patients will continuously go to their Physical Therapists until their injury is fully recovered and they are able to go about their daily lives without their injuries affecting them

.

Physical Therapists deal with more of a younger age group

,

such as young athletes

.

But they also deal with middle age adults

.

The New York Times wrote an article about a patient

s experience with going to see their Physical Therapists multiple times after having countless surgeries done

.

They discussed the countless hours spent at the facility

,

the repetitive routines they were given day after day

,

and last but not least

,

the horrific pain they endured every day

.

No one ever said Physical Therapy was easy

.

But with the wonderful relationships patients gain with their PT

s

,

after spending so many months with them

,

it makes experience so much better

.

Patients get to know their Physical Therapist on a personal leveland end up gaining a special friendship in a way

.

PT

s will push their patients in ways they never thought could accomplish

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themselves

,

and won

t let them quit until they are healthy and mobile once again

.

In order for Physical Therapy to be done well

,

clients must put all of their faith and trust into their PT

,

and they will stop at nothing to get the patient back to normal (Caitlyn

,

2009)

.

Occupational Therapists on the other hand, although they also treat patients through a rehab process

,

focus more on patients that can only be healed to their fullest potential and have to be taught to go through daily routines with a non-healing injury

.

OT

s are there to focus on patients who cannot go through the motions of the day without depending on someone else

.

They will then work day-by-day with their patients until they can become dependent on just

themselves

.

Elderly patients are more likely to be sent to Occupational Therapists

.

"

Designing your daily routine so that you can control your lifestyle and stay healthy

,

happy and productive--rather than its controlling you--can lead to much greater personal satisfaction

."

This was said by

Florence Clark

,

who works in the Department of Occupational Science and Therapy at a local University in Los Angeles

.

In The Chicago Tribune

,

reporters discuss what senior citizens can get out of going to see an Occupational Therapist. Florence Clark hit it right on the head

.

Occupational Therapists help senior citizens with finding ways to make their daily routines much more do-able

.

So easy

,

that it could allow them to live independently and even keep them out of the nursing homes

.

No one wants to be taken care of

,

and the older a person becomes

,

the harder it is for them to be capable of taking care of themselves

.

OT

s will help promote patients to

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staying healthy and independent; and make sure that they are in control of their own life (Ascribe News

,

2001)

.

As discussed, there are many reasons as to why Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy is so comparable. Which makes the reasons why both professions have different

educational requirements a little puzzling. The age differential are a main difference between the two professions

.

Although

,

this difference and many other small differences might seem so obsolete and not as influential as to why these health professions are so vastly different on an educational level

,

they seem to be the sole purpose

.

Here are the educational requirements for both careers

:

In order to become a Physical Therapist, health professionals must first achieve a bachelor

s degree

.

Once that degree is finished completed, they are capable of moving onto attaining a graduate degree from an affiliated program to Physical Therapy

.

In order to move on and take your licensure requirements, that above statements must be completed so that they can begin practicing. Previously

,

most PT careers required a master

s degree

,

but they are quickly converting to doctoral programs

.

Studies show that 199 colleges and universities around the world to support 212 accredited professional physical therapist education programs

.

96% of which offer the DPT and the rest of the programs are beginning to switch in the next few years due to the increase in success (Wendell

,

2013)

.

For Occupational Therapy it is a little different

.

Occupational therapists are not required to attend grad school and obtain a master’s or a doctoral degree in order to move forward on their licensures

.

OT

s are only strictly enforced to receive a bachelor

s degree to move forward in

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their career

.

Though this seems unfair

,

research studies looked deeper into the reasons why this was the case in the first place

.

Researchers did a study back in 2000

,

to discuss the differences in experience that

Occupational Therapists have that have a master

s degree or a just a bachelor

s degree

.

That data stated that only less than

.

2 percent of OT’s had a master’s degree or higher

;

and it’s not just because it

s not required to be a certified Occupational Therapist

.

It’s based off of the level of research OT

s use when they are on the job

.

Studies show that as the level of academic education increased

,

the less important research became to them

.

Occupational Therapists eventually stopped consulting to their research and began working with of what they just retained in school. So to clarify

,

this means that a person who just has a bachelor

s degree is just as qualified

,

if not more qualified, than someone who has a doctoral

,

because eventually everyone stops going the extra mile and only remembered that basics of the practice. Even though professions who have a doctoral degree are more trained than those without one

,

they tend to rely less on their research

,

making them not that much more

valuable

than everyone claims them to be

(

Cameron, et al 2005

).

Although that these facts are reliable, there is a lot of other people

,

that look at things differently

.

In order to ensure the profession's success in the future

,

access to education

,

implementing uniform entry-level educational competencies for the professional and technical levels of education and the globalization of educational programs and accreditation need to be addressed

,”

Paul Grace

,

President and CEO

,

National Board for Certification in Occupational

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stated in this article

.

This means that the educational level is important to both professions

,

and education is what

makes or breaks you in this business

.”

(Grace, 2007) Eventually

,

the educational requirements for Occupational Therapy will ultimately change

,

but to what

,

is another question

.

This research paper discusses the controversial question

,

why do Physical Therapists

and Occupational Therapists

have different educational levels

?

Although

,

education is important

,

and a big factor on having a successful career

,

too much education can be a corrupt thing as well

.

Since countless hours of research have been spent

,

the conclusion has come to that the educational requirements should be the same

,

no matter what small differences between the two careers exist

.

As far as what educational requirement should be proclaimed

,

that answer is still unclear

.

It is proven that to be a successful and knowledgeable therapist with just a bachelor

s degree can be done

,

but more education than just that can result in a lot more success in both Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy

.

However

,

a master

s degree is too much education

.

So in order to fix this

,

they should meet in the middle

.

Even a master

s degree over a doctorate is much more reasonable

,

and students would still be receiving still the same amount of education to be just as successful in their profession

.

Both Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy are growing professions around the globe, and will be continuing to rise each year

.

Everyone at some point will come to a situation in life where they

re going to need some help, and at the end of the day

,

they want to have the

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best-of-the-best

,”

taking care of them

.

In order to get this kind of help

,

education is important and anticipated by the professionals

.

At some point in time the educational requirements will change for Occupational Therapists

,

but if it

s going to be changed, the same requirements that Physical Therapists require are still in the cards

.

Education is important

,

and it

s about time that people in the Occupational profession are beginning to take this into consideration

.

Both PT

s and OT

s are related in many circumstances

,

and maybe one day

,

education will be similar as well

.

So that Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists can be trained and certified to their greatest potential and in return

,

can provide the very best health care and promote the most sufficient way of healthy living for their patients

.

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References

AScribe News. (2001, March 4). Occupational therapy keeps seniors vibrant, independent. The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.articles.chicagotribune.com/2001-03-04/news/0103040557_1_occupational-therapy-senior-citizens-elderly-study

Caitlyn, K. (2009, November 7). Physical therapy and the camaraderie of healing. The New York Times. Retrieved from

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/health/17iht-17case.20237049.html

Cameron, K. V., Ballantyne, S., Msot, A., Msot, M., Msot, T., & Ludwig, F. (2005). Utilization of evidence-based practice by registered occupational therapists. Occupational Therapy International, 12(3), 123-136.

Concentra Operating Corporation. (2014). Physical and occupational therapy. Retrieved from

http://www.concentra.com/patients/physical-therapy/how-we-serve/

Grace, P. (2007). Future Considerations in Occupational Therapy Education. Occupational Therapy inHealth Care, 21(1/2), 281-283.

Gupta, J., Barbra, C., & Pam, T. (2008). Occupational therapy’s role in health promotion. Retrieved from

http://www.aota.org/-/media/Corporate/Files/AboutOT/Professionals/WhatIsOT/MH/Facts/FactSheet_HealthPr omotion.pdf

Maura, K. (2010). Rehab on the rise. Fitness. Retrieved from

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/health/body/pain-relief/when-physical-therapy-can-help/

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Wendell, E. (2013, May 23). Who are physical therapists? Retrieved from

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