Occupational Therapists: Their Career Views Eighteen Months After Graduation

Lena A. Nordholm*, Mary T. Westbrook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


A survey of 74% of the 1979 graduating class in occupational therapy at Cumberland College of Health Sciences indicated that 88.8% were employed in their profession. Some (29.6%) had experienced brief involuntary unemployment. Job satisfaction and career choice satisfaction were high, although 83.7% anticipated change from current employment within the next five years. Many (56.6%) expressed intentions to specialise in their profession and 39% planned to enrol in study programmes. Aspects of work considered most important were opportunities to develop skills, chances to do something worthwhile and the friendliness of co‐workers. The graduates experienced deprivation regarding the first two aspects and satisfaction regarding the third. Work aspects considered of least importance were pay, physical surroundings, and promotion opportunities. The most stressful aspect of work was dealing with other health professionals, who were perceived as confused about the role of occupational therapists. 1981 Occupational Therapy Australia Limited

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-153
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


  • education
  • Job satisfaction
  • professional development


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