When you commence your search for Occupational therapy Assistant schools in Altoona, PA, you will probably soon see that there has never been a better time to pursue a career as an OTA. The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts jobs within this industry to increase by 43% over the ten year period 2010-2020, this equals over 12,000 new Occupational Therapy Assistant jobs! The better news is that the median Occupational Therapy Assistant wage is greater than $53,000 yearly making it among the highest paying medical-related professions that does not call for a University Degree.
Occupational Therapy Schools in Altoona, PA
The initial step toward a career as an OTA is determining the right Occupational Therapy Training Program. There are at this time approximately two hundred accredited occupational therapy schools in the United States and Puerto Rico and almost all of 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 dive in and pick a school, it is important to think about all of your alternatives and make sure you find an Occupational Therapy training program that fits all your requirements.
Things You Must Consider When Deciding On an Occupational Therapy School
Accreditation by the ACOTE is recommended because you can be reassured you will be taught the full range of competencies necessary to be a certified OTA.
Occupational Therapy Assistants assist patients on numerous types of health problems and disorders so it is really important that your training is very diversified rather then too concentrated on a particular discipline.
Another really important feature to take under consideration is the clinical teaching experience. This is the hands-on training, and this is when you will interact with actual patients and put your abilities to use. Some schools commit significantly more time on your actual clinical training in comparison with other training programs. In situations where your training program is not investing a large amount of time with clinical teaching, make sure to find out why.
Something else to also consider is the class sizes. The size of can vary greatly from college to college. Make sure you find out the class sizes at all the schools you are researching. Bear in mind, the smaller the classes , the more one-on-one time that you receive with the trainers.
Taking Occupational Therapy Classes Online may not work for every student. Nevertheless, for some people online classes can ease some of the burdens of being a full time student. Work and family tend to be pushed aside as students carry on their training and online classes may offer some flexibility to a busy schedule.
The last item that you should consider before selecting an Occupational Therapy School is the success rate of the colleges you are looking at. Be sure to find out how many students finish the program, what their observations were, and exactly how many of them have gone to careers as OTA’s.
Suggested Occupational Therapy Schools in Altoona, PA
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What to Expect in OTA School
Normally the course work is roughly 24 months, with the first year consisting of mostly class-room training and with the second year spent carrying out hands on lessons in a medical facility or private care office. Some of the course work a student will be required to take involves pediatrics, gerontology, healthcare jargon, and physical rehabilitation. All States that require licensure only want a 2 year degree. A Bachelor’s Degree is necessary if you plan on becoming a full Occupational Therapist, however you will find that almost all Occupational Therapist started their careers as Assistants and obtained their Bachelor’s Degrees some time later.
Following graduation, those prepared to get started on their careers will need to become licensed as an OTA. Each State has its own policies and specifications that will be governed by an occupational therapy board, with many being private and some run by the State exclusively. In Pennsylvania, licensing is administrated by the Pennsylvania State Board of Occupational Therapy Education and Licensure. Even though each State is unique, there are a number of requirements that happen to be common among most of them and include the following.
A person applying for an occupational therapy assistant certificate must be a U.S. citizen, needs to have a social security number and must have taken and completed appropriate college course work in addition to having taken and passed the NBCOT exam.
Each State requires a federal background check , however convictions are not necessarily automatic grounds for dismissal. Certain States may consider processing an occupational therapy license if a written affidavit is submitted to describe the circumstances of the conviction. Additional circumstances including time and nature of the offense may be assessed and be considered to grant licensure .
Every State will provide an Occupational Therapy Assistant licensure kit which will include several forms to submit. Do not purchase these forms from a third party because they can be accessed online from many trusted websites. It is recommended to take a very thorough look through the paper work before attempting to complete them. It will have official transcripts needed; notarized signatures and many States will ask you to complete a fingerprint card that can be completed at a local police station.
Work Environment for Occupational Therapy Assistants
An OTA works with a variety of patients who may have needs which can be totally different in comparison to the previous patient. You could be working in an outpatient clinic with kids that happen to have food or texture aversions or perhaps a hospital rehabilitation center working with a middle age patient with emotional struggles . Though an occupational therapy assistant possesses numerous job skills, a few of the basics like following direction, keeping up to date with the most up-to-date techniques and implementing and using the available technologies are the most important. Finally, a COTA should also be relatively physically fit, as there will be plenty of instances of shifting patients around, including from a bed to a wheel chair.
If this looks like the career for you, then take a few minutes to visit the search form at the top of this page. You will be shown a list of training programs near Altoona, PA 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 Altoona, PA reviewed by Pat RAMIREZ on June 3.
Very Helpful Site
Thank You for sharing such an informative website. I was able to get more info about the OTA schools in my area and chose one that worked for me. I’m now ready to start my training and can’t wait to work as an Occupational Therapist.