As you begin your search for Occupational therapy Assistant schools in Fort Smith, AR, you are going to quickly find that there has never been a better time to pursue a career as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs in this particular industry to expand by 43% over the ten year period 2010-2020, this equals over 12,000 new Occupational Therapy Assistant jobs! The better news is the fact that the median Occupational Therapy Assistant salary is greater than $53,000 yearly which makes it one of the best paying health care professions that does not require a Bachelor’s Degree.
Occupational Therapy Schools in Fort Smith, AR
The first step towards a career as an OTA is choosing the best Occupational Therapy Program. There are presently almost 200 accredited occupational therapy schools in the United States and Puerto Rico and nearly all the schools accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) offer Occupational Therapist Assistant degrees and Master’s Degrees, with many also offering Doctoral degrees. Before you decide to jump in to choose a training program, be sure that you evaluate all of your alternatives and make sure you find an Occupational Therapy school that suits all your preferences.
Items You Must Consider When Picking an Occupational Therapy School
Accreditation by the ACOTE is recommended because you can be reassured that you will learn about the full array of techniques required to be an effective OTA.
Occupational Therapy Assistants work with patients on a wide array of issues and disorders therefore it is crucial that your training is very diverse rather then too dedicated to a particular area of specialization.
Another important variable you must consider is the clinical training experience. This is the hands-on training, it is where you actually interact with real patients and put your abilities to use. Some schools commit substantially more time on your actual practical experience in comparison to others. In instances where your school is not investing a large amount of time with clinical teaching, make sure to find out why.
Something else to consider is the class size. The size of your class can vary greatly from college to college. Make sure that you find out the class sizes at the schools you are considering. Try to remember, the smaller the class size , the more one-on-one instruction you will get with your trainers.
Taking Occupational Therapy Classes Online might not work for every student. Yet, for some online training can ease several of the burdens of being a full time student. Jobs and household are sometimes driven aside as students continue their training and online classes may offer a little flexibility to a busy life.
The last thing you want to consider before choosing an Occupational Therapy School is the success rate of the schools you are evaluating. Make certain you find out how many people finish the program, what their comments were, and exactly how many of them have gone on to become Occupational Therapists.
Recommended Occupational Therapy Schools in Fort Smith, AR
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What to Expect in OTA School
Typically the course work is roughly two years, with the first year consisting of primarily classroom teaching and with the second year spent working on hands on lessons in a medical facility or private care practice. Some of the course work a student will likely need to take includes pediatrics, gerontology, clinical jargon, and physical rehab. All States that require licensure only require a 2 year degree. A Bachelor’s Degree is necessary if you plan on becoming a full Occupational Therapist, however you will find that a majority of Occupational Therapist started their careers as Assistants and earned their Bachelor’s Degrees a couple of years later.
Following graduation, those prepared to get started with their careers must become certified as an occupational therapist assistant. Every State has its own policies and specifications which are governed by an occupational therapy board, with a few being private and some run by the State exclusively. In AR, licensing is administered by the Arkansas State Occupational Therapy Examining Committee. While each State is different, there are a number of requirements which are common among the majority of them and can include the following.
Someone attempting to get an occupational therapy assistant certificate will have to be a U.S. citizen, needs to have a social security number and is required to have taken and passed applicable college course work as well as taken and passed the NBCOT exam.
Every State requires a federal background check , although convictions are not necessarily immediate grounds for dismissal. A number of States may consider processing an occupational therapist license in a case where a written affidavit is turned in to describe the circumstances of the conviction. Additional circumstances including time and nature of the criminal offense may be evaluated and be considered to grant licensure .
Each State will have an Occupational Therapy Assistant licensure kit which will contain several forms to complete. Do not spend money on these forms from a third party because they can be found online from many trusted sites. It is advised to take a very detailed look through the forms before trying to complete them. It will have official transcripts required; notarized signatures and many States will need you to include a fingerprint card which may be completed at a local police station.
Job Environment for Occupational Therapy Assistants
An OTA will work with an assortment of patients which have needs that may be totally different in comparison to the previous patient. You may be working in an outpatient clinic with kids who have food or texture aversions or perhaps a hospital rehab facility working with a middle age man with psychological and mental struggles . Although an occupational therapy assistant has a large number of job skills, a couple of the basics like following direction, keeping up to date with the most up to date techniques and learning and employing the available technologies are extremely important. Finally, a COTA must also be relatively physically fit, because there will be several instances of transferring patients around, such as from a bed to a wheel chair.
If this sounds like a career your interested in, then take a few minutes and fill out the search form at the top of this page. You will be shown a list of schools near Fort Smith, AR that offer Occupational Therapy Assistant classes. Request information from as many schools as you’d like, and good luck in your future career!
Occupational Therapy Schools in Fort Smith, AR reviewed by Christopher LEWIS on June 16.
Thank You for sharing such an informative website. I was able to get more info about the various schools in my area and chose one that worked for me. I’m now ready to start my classes and can’t wait to work as an OTA.