As the demands of a health care provider increase daily, occupational therapy is a broad field in today’s time. It is the only profession that encourages people to do the things they need and want through daily therapeutic activities while promoting health and helping them prevent injury, diseases, or disability and to live better with life. It is a practice based on evidence that is deeply rooted in science, having a holistic perspective which is the person itself is an essential component of the therapeutic process, and it focuses on adapting in the environment and task to conform to the person.
Often misunderstood for something to do with professional counseling, the field, is not also concerned about your career; but they are focused on their primary objective that is to encourage people to participate to activities that give meaning to everyday life. Works of an OT includes helping patients to regain or develop the skills needed for daily living activities, including self-care, recreation, and independent living. Their conventional approaches include assisting children with disabilities to fully participate in school and social situations, helping people recover from injury to restore skills, and supporting older adults with physical and cognitive changes. They work most often in hospitals, nursing homes, in school, or with patients living in their own homes.
To become a professional occupational therapist, you must:
Earn an associates degree
Careers in occupational therapy require advanced degrees, but the degree of an associate in occupational therapy is a practical starting point. These serve as preparation for students for the Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant (COTA) exam, which is administrated by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®). Students can acquire skills and knowledge to programs that include fieldwork; anatomy, physiology, pediatrics, mental, physical health theory, and practice, that is giving practical assistant training to the students in occupational therapy.
Take the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) Test
Graduates interested in becoming occupational therapy assistants may sit for the COTA exam after completing the associate’s degree program. COTA is a computer-based examination consisting of 200 questions of multiple choices, and approximately 4-6 weeks it is scored, examinees will receive an official NBCOT® certificate. The COTA examination assures to the public and potential employers that those people involved in occupational therapy practice have attained a standard level of skills, knowledge, and professional behavior.
Practice and gain experience in the field of occupational therapy
Given after passing the OT exam is a certificate which is a requirement for licensure and employment as OT assistant. Although it’s not necessary to work as an assistant in the field of occupational therapy before applying a degree, having work experiences may increase the likelihood of entering into a master’s program.
Make a headway of your education
You need a master degree in becoming a professional occupational therapist. Students can either earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as physiology, or biology before moving to a master’s degree. This kind of programs incorporates theory and practice to provide a comprehensive occupational therapy knowledge for students. Some students undertake undergraduate and graduate courses in occupational therapy in combined degree programs and can graduate with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree.
Pass the Occupational Therapy Registered Examination
The OTR exam is a computer-based examination like the COTA exam. You are required to pass this exam before becoming a licensed occupational therapist. Upon passing the examination, potential future occupational therapists will receive an official NBCOT® certificate and a wallet card. Making up the test are 170 item multiple choice questions and three clinical simulation problems intended to assess the ability of a candidate conclude about customer needs, obtaining information about the performance of a customer and the factors that play into it, choosing appropriate therapies and immediate occupational therapy services.
Acquire license from the state
Requirements for licensing vary between states, but typically needs an NBCOT® score, academic transcripts, and background check. Licensing of the occupational therapist should be in the state in which they are practicing their profession. They also need to take units of continuing education to keep their license up-to-date. Doctoral degrees can also be pursued by professionals who want to advance more their studies and become specialists, gaining certificates of specialization.
Pass The OT, American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc (AOTA), TherapyEd and Pocket Prep, provides a variety of effective exam prep for the NBCOT® examinations; giving you interactive practice that includes actual exam questions and detailed answer rationales, programs and activities that are aimed at ensuring the quality of occupational therapy services. It also improves consumer access to health services and promoting members’ professional development. These exam prep courses have one goal, and that is to help and provide quality of educated knowledge to students and those who are aiming to pass the examinations.
Being an occupational therapist requires you a lot of tasks, skills, knowledge, and perseverance. As there are many exam prep courses available to guide you along your way to getting your license, your hard work and patience are the best components for you to pass the examination. Thus, a long road of learnings and challenges may take you into getting that profession, always remember that you are capable of passing and acing your examinations.