When you commence your search for Occupational therapy Assistant schools in Smithfield, NC, you can expect to quickly realize that there has never been a better time for you to pursue a career as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. The U.S. 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 equates to over 12,000 new Occupational Therapy Assistant jobs! The even better news is that the average Occupational Therapy Assistant wage is over $53,000 yearly which makes it one of the best paying medical careers that does not require a Bachelor’s Degree.
Occupational Therapy Schools in Smithfield, NC
The first step toward a career as an OTA is determining the right Occupational Therapy Program. There are at the moment almost 200 accredited occupational therapy schools in the US 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 choose a school, it is very important to evaluate all of your options and make sure you choose an Occupational Therapy school that fits all your needs.
Things You Must Consider When Deciding On an Occupational Therapy School
Accreditation by the ACOTE is essential because you will be assured that you will learn about the full range of skills required to be a certified OTA.
Occupational Therapy Assistants work with patients on a wide array of ailments and disorders therefore it is very important that your training is very diverse rather then too focused on a particular discipline.
Another really important factor you must consider is the clinical teaching experience. This is your hands-on training, it is where you are going to interact with actual patients and put your skills to use. Some schools designate substantially more time on your actual clinical training in comparison to other schools. In instances where your school is not investing a large amount of time with clinical instructing, make sure to find out why.
Something else to also consider is the class size. The size of will vary significantly from school to school. Make sure that you find out the class sizes at all of schools you are looking at. Remember, the smaller the class size , the more one-on-one instruction you will get with your instructors.
Taking Occupational Therapy Classes Online might not work for every student. Nevertheless, for many of us online classes can relieve many of the burdens of being a full time student. Jobs and loved ones tend to be pushed aside while students continue their schooling and online classes may offer a bit of flexibility to a busy life.
The final item you might want to look at before choosing an Occupational Therapy School is the rate of the colleges you are considering. Make sure you find out how many trainees finish the program, what their reviews were, and exactly how many of them have gone to become Occupational Therapy Assistants.
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What to Expect in OTA School
Typically the course work is about two years, with the first year being mostly class-room instruction and with the second year spent carrying out hands on lessons in a hospital or private care office. Some of the course work a student will have to take includes pediatrics, gerontology, health care terminology, and physical rehabilitation. All States that require licensure simply call for a two year degree. A Bachelor’s Degree will be needed if you plan on becoming a full Occupational Therapist, but the truth is you will find that the majority of Occupational Therapist began their careers as Assistants and achieved their Bachelor’s Degrees a few years later.
Following graduation, those prepared to begin their careers must become licensed as an occupational therapist assistant. Each State has its own guidelines and specifications that will be governed by an occupational therapy board, with a few being private and several run by the State exclusively. In North Carolina, licensing is controlled by the North Carolina Board of Occupational Therapy. Even though every State is different, there are a number of requirements that are common among many of them and include the following.
Any individual attempting to get an occupational therapy assistant license is required to be a U.S. citizen, will need 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.
Each State requires a federal background check , although convictions are not necessarily immediate grounds for dismissal. Several States may consider approving an occupational therapy license if a written affidavit is turned in to clarify the circumstances of the conviction. Additional factors including time and nature of the offense may be evaluated and be taken into consideration to grant licensure .
Each State will provide an Occupational Therapy Assistant licensure kit that is going to contain numerous forms to submit. Do not buy these forms from a third party as they can be found online from many trusted websites. It is important to take a very in depth look through the forms before attempting to complete them. There may be official transcripts needed; notarized signatures and several States will require you to submit a fingerprint card that can be completed at a local police station.
Job Environment for Occupational Therapy Assistants
An OTA works with a variety of patients who have needs that could be completely different the previous patient. You could be employed in an outpatient facility with small children that have food or texture aversions or a hospital rehab center working with a middle age man with emotional struggles . Though an occupational therapy assistant possesses a variety of job skills, a couple of the basics such as following direction, keeping up to date with the most up-to-date techniques and implementing and applying the available technologies are the most important. Finally, a COTA must also be somewhat physically fit, as there will be many instances of transferring patients around, including from a bed to a wheel chair.
If this looks like a career your interested in, then take a few minutes to visit the search form at the top of this page. You will be shown a list of schools near Smithfield, NC that offer Occupational Therapy Assistant training. Request information from as many schools as you’d like, and good luck in your future career!
Occupational Therapy Schools in Smithfield, NC reviewed by Grace MURRAY on June 2.
Very Helpful Site
Thank You for sharing such an informative website. I was able to get great info about the various schools in my area and found one that worked for me. I’m now ready to start my classes and can’t wait to work as an OTA.