Hi everyone! I am an OTR and have been so for about 2 years. I graduated with my Masters. I absolutely LOVE OT. There are a lot ofpeople who are not sure what OT is, so many deter people away from OT. I know someone asked if it's hard to find a job and I say..NO way! I get mailings literally everyday from different rehab facilities that are looking for OTs. Where I live specifically, there is a shortage of OTs, so places are offering great sign on bonuses and very competitive pay. I make well over 50k. When I graduated college, I worked at a large acute rehabilitation facility. I was on the brain trauma unit and rehabilitation unit. So basically I rehabilitated a lot of younger patients after strokes, spinal cord injuries, gun shot wounds to the head, and many other closed head injuries (motorcycle accidents etc.). On the side I worked on the orthopedic floor where I treated pts after hip and knee surgery etc. I recently have transferred to a subacute rehab facility where I deal mostly with cardiac and neuro patients. So, I love my job. It's exciting and always changing/challenging.
While I love my job, it is different than nursing. I don't feel as though I have as many options to move around like I would like to. For instance, with nursing you can work in the ICU, ER, OR, med surg, school system. This is where OT limits you. I myself, am looking into a career in nursing. I think a nursing degree would augment the knowledge I already have and add a unique component to my career. Down the road I'd like to work as a nurse full time with rehab (prob hand therapy on the side). My real desire is to work with the troops and I think nursing is perfect for this. However, anyone looking into OT, I think OT is great. It's an amazing career. It is extremely rewarding. While OT doesn't medically SAVE lives, I feel like OTs GIVE back lives. We help people regain independence. We help people to walk again, bathe/dress themselves again...we assist people to regain their confidence after an injury. My opinion is no matter what you do in healthcare, you are helping people, which is extremely rewarding. I hope this helps some of you out there
Quote from OTA student
An OT aide is someone that will assist the therapist, but do not treat patients.
To be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA/L) you have to graduate from an accredited school with an associates degree. You then have to take the NBCOT exam for certification and then you can apply for your state license.
OT and Nurses do not do the same thing. I'm sure nurses do not have enough time in the day with their busy and hectic schedule to also provide OT services.
I have 3 more months until I graduate OTA school and I am so exited. I'm actually done with all the school work, now I am in my level II fieldwork and loving it. It's been a hard 2 years, but I made it through.