Building a career in OT or occupational therapy will be an excellent choice for people interested in assisting those in hands-on-environment and rehabilitation. A highly growing profession, the demand for an occupational therapist indeed is likely to perk up by 2020 offering a plethora of job opportunities to graduates of OT programs the world over. With a higher number of job openings accessible, availing the right education as well as the experience is crucial for those planning to enter this challenging yet rewarding profession.
To Become An Occupational Therapist
For becoming a licensed and certified therapist, it is crucial for a student first to attend an undergraduate school. It is for completing their Bachelor’s degree. After this, they can continue in completing a dedicated occupational therapy program for 2-3 years. Post completion of the program, the OT degree holder can then be qualified to appear for the certification exam NBCOT® after which they can apply for the state licensure. To obtain a license for practising like an occupational therapist in a state will include appearing for another exam. It will qualify the professional for employment in that very state. While relocating, one needs to reapply for the licensure. It is for the new state and appears for tests for being capable of gaining employment.
Choosing the Right Program
With regards to selecting an institution, a student planning to enroll in a school must pay extra attention. As to whether or not their preferred program is accredited or is not. The accreditation will make sure that the program will use that teaching curriculum. It will offer the most accepted, recent and necessary information to students to help them graduate. Be ready and facing all the challenges which lie ahead in their upcoming career.
Besides for qualifying the student needs to graduate from an occupational therapy program that is accredited. In the absence of this recognition, the programs will cost extra money and time to the student for availing that certification. Because these accredited institutes are governed for conforming the accreditation of just any program. Along with the suitability of preparing students to earn their license, degree, and certification. There is beginning a fruitful career as an occupational therapist. The prospective students are suggested in checking the ACOTE or AOTA sites prior to applying to a school.
Along with attending a particular PG school post earning a Bachelor’s degree, a student can get a degree in OT. It will via completion of a bridge or accredited transitional program. Such programs designed for COTAs (certified occupational therapy assistants) for continuing education for becoming licensed occupational therapists. Via a curriculum which is made for being taken post 1 or more years of employment. Further designation of an OTA. It is also while working, the assistants will advance their education. It is by fulfilling the needs required for a therapist in 3 and a half years. Though going with the route of the transitional program can be a lengthy process, the time investment in actuality is the same as conventionally completing schooling via first getting an undergraduate Bachelor’s degree and afterwards attend schools.
As COTAs possess an Associate’s degree already for beginning with, the time along with the extra education and the worth of a year’s work experience closely ends up the same as availing a degree straight away for OT. After that, there is another perk of opting for the transitional program. That can complete online as per the convenience of the student as they proceed with their designation as an assistant. Usually, the necessary lab classes are provided on weekends. Further facilitating the OT therapists to gain their degree for becoming full-fledged and licensed therapists.
Choose the Best
Currently, there are more than 100 accredited programs. They are only in the US alone and with lots more across the world in different facets with occupational therapy being a sought-after profession. Though yearly enrolment in such programs is fairly small the acceptance can be competitive, and with the correct preparation and efforts, students will be capable of gaining entrance into their chosen program and receiving the needed education for turning into a licensed and certified occupational therapist.
In fact, the coursework is likely to be diverse because OT assistants normally are called upon for assisting both out-patient calls as well as in-patient care. The assistant program usually provides classes in the following namely- kinesiology, human occupations, administration, psychology, mental health principles, growth, development, computer basics, health communications, medical terminology, physiology, and anatomy.
Apart from the opportunity of helping those with disabilities directly, a key factor as to why a good number of people are pursuing a career in the field of occupational therapy indeed is salary. Today there is no dearth in the opening for job opportunities in case of occupational therapists that are registered and licensed. Currently, the demand for occupational therapists is on the rise in orthopedic institutions, rehabilitation centers and acute hospitals owing to the mushrooming number of the geriatric population especially in these settings. A licensed and certified occupational therapist will earn a handsome salary.
Through the professional help of an occupational therapist, the disabled people are being assisted in working and living despite their situation. Via rehabilitative programs, patients can restore their daily, vocational and homemaking skills for gaining more independence and mobility from their disabilities. The truth is NBCOT® indeed can be a challenging task. In fact, the days nearing the exam can be overwhelming and horrific.
Owing to this reason, one needs to organize them for being successful. And for all procrastinators, it is high time to prepare for it effectively. Else it may so happen that the day one picks a date they may feel sick to their stomach. Rather the fear of failing can be paralyzing so before it is too late gear up, develop a plan, enroll in a reputable institute and just move forward. This way nothing can stop you from coming out in flying colours on your very first attempt you appear for the NBCOT® exam. Good Luck!!!