A day as an occupational therapist

You have four patients to see today - two in their own homes, and two at the local NHS hospital where you're based. Your first appointment is with an elderly lady who's just had a stroke, and you drive to her home at 8.30am. Your shared goal is for her to dress independently, and she's making excellent progress. Next, you see a man injured in a car accident who's adjusting to life in a wheelchair. You work together to improve his mobility, and plan for his returning to work in the future. In the afternoon, you write up progress reports at the hospital, and see a few more patients before finishing at 5pm.

Real-life stories

Rachel Maton

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Does this sound like you?

You're patient, determined and have plenty of common sense. You're good at motivating others, and would like a job working closely with individuals.

What's next after GCSE?

You'll need a minimum of five 9-4 (A*-C) grade GCSEs (or the equivalent), preferably including a science subject. You should apply for three AS/A levels (or the equivalent) at college or 6th form, and ideally one of these should also be a science subject.

What's next after A level and beyond?

After gaining at least two good A levels (or equivalent level 3 qualifications), you'll need to apply for a degree in occupational therapy or a degree apprenticeship in occupational therapy with an employer. Different universities and employers have different entry criteria, so it's important to check this well in advance.

Alternatively, you could complete a postgraduate course in occupational therapy after a first degree in a related subject (such as psychology); or get a job as an occupational therapy assistant/support worker and with the support of your employer, do the occupational therapy degree part-time, while you're working.