Occupational therapy

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    Are there any OT's out there? Is it a good program to go into? Are there even jobs out there that pay okay? Please let me know, and if your are an OT, do you like it? Was it worth the four years of school? Thanks so much
  2. 11 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I've been asking the question of whether or not to go into OT myself. I found some good info on the AOTA website if you wanted to check it out. What do you do now?

    Jason
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    My best friend in life is an OTR, Master's prepared. I work in a community health/occ health hybrid (RN) job that requires a lot of contact with OTRs. I asked my friend for some insight as to the state of OTR jobs right now. She's been an OTR for 20 years.

    She says that unlike nursing, there are jobs but a limited number in any given geographic area. Most of her OTR friends work a combination of part time jobs. Getting full time work can be hard, depending where you live. The programs are fairly difficult to access and compared to nursing, few in number. There is overt pressure to get Master's prepared. She loves the work and does evaluations for a couple school districts. She also does independent OT evals.

    From my experience, I see a lot of OTRs trying to find ways to use their skills. I work in transportation and I get calls from OTRs every month who are thinking about starting a driving school so that they can work from home. There seems to be need but nothing like nursing.
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    I have debated over OT or nursing for the last 2 years. I finally decided to go w/OT. I have a B.S. in special ed. and found a Master's program in Buffalo, NY at D'Youville college that takes about 2 years. They just changed the regulations...and now all OTR's will have to have a M.S. degree.
    Pay obviously depends on where you go. School jobs pay less, but you have a better schedule. But the median staring pay is 40-50K. Most of the OT's I know LOVE their jobs.
    If you're not into all the schooling...there's OT assistants (OTA's). Basically they carry out the plans and therapy that OTR's write. They make less, at a median of about 30K.
    The demand for OTRs isn't as bad as in nursing...so, you may have to look a little longer for a job. However, all of the OT's I've met in the private school for students w/developmental disabilities have had no problem finding work right out of school. Also, many have moved from the school and work for early interventions agencies.
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    hi, what is otr? and do you need lot of schooling to become ot aide? or ot assistant? i understand aide is different from assistant. why would they need occupational therapist if there is nurses who would do same things? i am totally confused !! :uhoh21:
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    OTR is a Occupational Therapist Registered.

    OTA's is completed with an Associated degree, alot of community colleges offer this. I'm not sure if there's a difference between aide/assist., but OTA's do have to take a certification test.

    OT's and nurses are definetly not the same. Nurses work directly with the medical aspect of patients recovery. OT's come in for rehabilitation. aspect.

    For example, if someone is in an accident and loses function or control over their arm or hands OT's assist in regaining this. It is essential the profession for improving the daily skills of living (i.e. dressing, eating, driving)...

    Some other areas OT's work are in pediatrics, geriatrics, low vision therapy, hand therapy, sensory integration....SO many areas.

    www.aota.org is a great site to help you get an idea of the profession.
  8. 0
    Quote from hemoglobin
    hi, what is otr? and do you need lot of schooling to become ot aide? or ot assistant? i understand aide is different from assistant. why would they need occupational therapist if there is nurses who would do same things? i am totally confused !! :uhoh21:
    hello

    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.
    Last edit by OTA student on May 5, '07
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    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
    Hello

    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.
    OTA student likes this.
  10. 0
    I forgot about this thread. OT is a great field. I graduated OTA school in August and just passed my boards.
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    I just changed my name since my last one was outdated. I am no longer an OTA student. Thank God


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