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Research Article  |   June 1992
Reasons for Choosing Occupational Therapy as a Profession: Implications for Recruitment
Author Affiliations
  • Karen R. Cooperstein, MS, OTR, is Senior Therapist, Department of Rehabilitation Services, Stanford University Hospital, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford, California 94305
  • Kathleen Barker Schwartz, EdD, OTR, FAOTA, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, San Jose State University, San Jose, California
Article Information
Health and Wellness / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Education
Research Article   |   June 1992
Reasons for Choosing Occupational Therapy as a Profession: Implications for Recruitment
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 1992, Vol. 46, 534-539. doi:10.5014/ajot.46.6.534
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, June 1992, Vol. 46, 534-539. doi:10.5014/ajot.46.6.534
Abstract

This study examines the ways in which 272 recently certified occupational therapists learned of the profession of occupational therapy and the factors that influenced their decisions to choose occupational therapy as a career. The data were analyzed according to age, sex, and geographic region to identify potential ways to improve recruitment efforts. The results indicated that therapists most often learned of the profession while working in a health care setting. First exposure to occupational therapy was usually through an acquaintance in the profession, a family member, or a friend. The primary reasons for choosing occupational therapy included a desire to help people with disabilities, the promise of challenge and variety, the opportunity to work in a health care setting, and the belief that jobs are plentiful. The factors most likely to dissuade people from the profession were the expense of an education and lack of a clear understanding of occupational therapy.