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Occupational Therapist

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hce3.gifOccupational Therapist

What Is An Occupational Therapist And What Do They Do? The occupational therapist is a health professional who is concerned with an individual's ability to participate effectively in meaningful and purposeful occupations.

Such occupations may include a child's play, self care, school development and/or interpersonal skills; an adult's work, self management and family care, interpersonal skills, and leisure; or an aging persons maintenance of these abilities with dignity. The therapist may work with individuals with disabilities who wish to regain or compensate for lost abilities, individuals and families who are at risk for deficits in functional performance, or agencies to develop appropriate programs to enhance the occupational performance of populations served.

The certified occupational therapist (OTR) evaluates individuals and develops programs that include the provision of direct services, consultation with programs or agencies, and education. The OTR supervises technical personnel such as the certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA) who may assist in evaluation, program development and implementation of services.


Where Do Occupational Therapists Work?
Occupational Therapists Work At:

  • hospitals
  • rehabilitation or mental health programs
  • schools
  • nonprofit health-related agencies
  • nursing care facilities
  • community settings
  • private clinics
  • physicians offices
  • even in industry (preventing work related dysfunctions)


Which Personal Skills Are Needed For A Career in Occupational Therapy?

  • a strong commitment to serve people
  • interest and understanding of the social and biological sciences
  • skill in sensitive and effective communication


What Type Of Training Is Required To Become An Occupational Therapist?

  • Entry level professional level education (to become an OTR) is presently at either the baccalaureate or masters level. It is likely that most programs will move to the masters level within the next 10 years. The education for the assistant is at the associate degree level.
  • Clinical fieldwork is completed at the end of the coursework and the professional level (OTR) requires 24 weeks of full time work while the assistant level requires 12 weeks full time.


Which Colleges In North Carolina Offer An Occupational Therapist Degree?

East Carolina University, Greenville

MS

OTR

UNC, Chapel Hill

MS

OTR

Winston Salem State University

BS

OTR

Lenoir-Rhyne College

BS

OTR

Cabarrus College of Health Sciences

AA

COTA

Cape Fear Community College

AA

COTA

Caldwell Community College [Program is currently on Inactive Status]

AA

COTA

Durham Technical Community College

AA

COTA

Pitt Community College

AA

COTA

Stanly Community College

AA

COTA



Credentialing: National certification and state licenses require:

  • graduation from a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA),
    4720 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20824; 301-652-2682;
  • successful completion of the required field work
  • successful completion of the Certification examination of the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapy,
    800 S. Frederick Avenue, Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20877;
    (301) 990-7979.
  • State license have additional requirements available from individual state license boards.


What Is The Expected Salary For An Occupational Therapist?
Salaries for entry level occupational therapists in North Carolina may range from $21,000 to $25,000 for the COTA and from $34,000 to $40,000 for the OTR depending on location and responsibilities.


For information on East Carolina University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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