The goal of the master of occupational therapy program is to provide educational experiences that foster the knowledge, skills and values necessary for entry-level occupational therapy practitioners.
occupational therapy curriculum is organized around the concepts of humans as
occupational beings, the daily performance of occupations, and an understanding
of the contextual complexities that are necessary for meaningful occupational
performance. Meyer (1922) suggests that
the essence of human functioning includes being active and that active
engagement serves to ground humans in reality. Kielhofner (1995) has defined human occupation as "doing culturally
meaningful work, play or daily living tasks in the stream of time and in the
contexts of one’s physical and social world" (p.3). These occupations are the foundation for
productive living. Dunn, Brown, and
McGuigan (1994) extend this concept by suggesting that occupational performance
may be understood by examining the phenomenology of the interactions between
the person, the task, and the environmental experiences of the individual who
is engaged in occupations. The use of
occupation as a therapeutic tool is grounded in the historical and theoretical
foundations of the profession.
individual may combine occupations in a variety of ways to support and satisfy
the occupational demands of his/her unique life roles and activities of daily
living that may include: self-care, work
and productive activities, education, play, leisure, rest, and relaxation. Occupational therapists are concerned with
the ability of individuals of all ages to perform occupations that allow them
to live satisfying and productive lives. In addition, occupational therapists ensure client-centered practice by
involving individuals in the process of determining which performance areas
receive attention in the therapeutic process.
Occupational therapists believe that occupational performance is
enhanced through a holistic approach that includes attending to and respecting
the physical, mental, social, cultural, and spiritual dimensions of the
individual. The occupational therapy
process also includes cooperation and collaboration among clients, caregivers,
family members, and other professionals. The practice of occupational therapy requires a continually developing
base of clinical reasoning and technical competencies for effective
interaction, evaluation, and implementation of intervention strategies.
are many diverse direct and indirect service delivery contexts in which
occupational therapists practice. These
settings and areas of practice may include:
school systems, long-term care facilities, acute care settings, physical
rehabilitation settings, mental health programs, home care opportunities, early
intervention programs, industrial rehabilitation programs, case management,
community-based programs, consultation, education, research, disease prevention
and health promotion. Occupational
therapists must understand that society and health care are dynamic
institutions impacted by individual, local, national, and global growth and
change. The practice of occupational
therapy also includes innovative, creative thinking necessary for the
advancement of the individual and the profession to meet the ever-changing
demands of occupational therapy, health care, and society.
is essential that occupational therapists understand, internalize, and live the
ethical principles and values of the profession.