A friend made the comment recently that OT is being "phased out". I hadn't heard this; in fact I read in several places that the job climate is expected to climb with the aging population. What re your thoughts?
I don't think that is true at all. We have a great need for our services! I just returned home in Pittsburgh and had no trouble landing a job that I want to do; I had more than 1 offer and in our current state of economic affairs i find that reassuring. I also read somewhere, can't remember, that OT is one of the top jobs to enter into.
Territorial battles are definitely there, with PTs and SLPs. We address the Occupation of living, and armed with an understanding of AOTAs scope of practice and our own state's by-laws re: OT practice, as well as real skills, we can continue to have a broad impact. "Phased out" - these words are too strong, and I have not seen any evidence of this.
I am a second year OTA student and I have worked in a rehab department for the last 7 years, I have heard that too and that PT can do everything OT can. I believe OT's and OTA's need to make sure they are doing occupation based and client centered treatments, that is what OT is all about. When we are only doing exercise with patients and nothing truly functional, that is when our profession is in jeopardy.
Sometimes, I wonder if PT/ST even know what OT does. Education may be the answer. We need to be respectful of each other's discipline and yet mesh together to work as a team. I like working on cognitive things too and physical, but I do not feel I can do what a PT or a ST's job. I like what I do in OT.
When I was a student I'd hear this as well. After learning more and more about our profession and the strength of AOTA there is absolutely no way that would happen. I like what the previous person posted, we must educate more about what OT does. I love this forum, it's a good way to get everyone involved.