National Institute of Speech and Hearing launches graduate course in Occupational Therapy, First in Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram: National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) has launched Kerala's first graduate course in Occupational Therapy (OT), aiming to meet the increasing demand for professionally trained Occupational Therapists in the healthcare sector in the state and outside.
The four-and-a-half-year Bachelor of Occupational Therapy course, including a six-month internship, has the approval of Kerala University of Health Sciences (KUHS). A rewarding career awaits those graduating in the subject as the service of Occupational Therapists are essential in hospitals, rehabilitation centres and care-giving institutions.
Occupational Therapy helps people of all ages who have physical, sensory or cognitive problems to regain their affected functionality and personal emotional and physical abilities to lead a normal life.
"This course has been launched in view of the growing demand for Occupational Therapists," said Ms Sheeba George, Executive Director NISH and Director, Department of Social Justice, Government of Kerala.
"The state-of-the-art facilities and highly qualified and experienced teachers of NISH will certainly provide an excellent learning experience to students joining the course. NISH is making a major stride by launching this high-profile course," Ms. Sheeba George added.
The Department of Occupational Therapy set up at NISH has fully equipped pediatric, adult rehabilitation, and adult psychiatry units besides Sensory Park and Multiple Standardised Assessment tools. The academic facilities also include a digital library, standard books, and journals on the core subject and allied fields, computer lab, demonstration rooms, Anatomy-Physiology lab, and Splinting unit.
Since the course gives due emphasis on practical training, the department has a highly qualified multidisciplinary rehabilitation team, expert teachers and linkage with the Government Medical College and arrangements for exposure of students to hands-on training on attending persons with multiple disabilities.
"There is a growing demand for professionally-qualified Occupational Therapists in hospitals, rehabilitation centres and other care-providing institutions in Kerala, other Indian states and abroad. Right now, ours is the first such university-approved academic programme in Kerala", said Sasidhar Rao Chavan, Head, Department of Occupational Therapy at NISH.
Students who have passed plus-two in science stream are eligible to get admission to the course. Besides opting the career of a service provider, the graduates can also go for higher studies and research as OT is an expanding field, said Chavan.
"There are not many OT training centres in Kerala, not to speak of a university approved course. The therapists working in institutions in the state are trained outside. The course started by NISH addresses this huge gap," said Ms Lynda Mary George, Occupational Therapist at NISH.
Occupational Therapy addresses problems of mobility, functional ability and movement potential of affected persons through examination, evaluation, diagnosis and physical intervention.
Occupational therapists help persons having problems such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Neuro Developmental Disorder, Global Developmental Delay, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, learning disabilities and Neuromotor Disorder. Therapists can help affected persons to resume activities of daily living like feeding, handwriting, body awareness and visual motor and visual perceptual skills.