WHAT IS OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY?
Occupational Therapy (OT) is a health and rehabilitation profession whose primary goal is to assist people in developing or regaining skills necessary for functional independence in their daily occupational roles. Occupational roles include all daily activities that allow an individual to function in society independently. OT practitioners work with people of all ages who, because of illness, injury, or developmental or psychological impairment, need specialized assistance in learning skills to enable them to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives. The American Occupational Therapy Association defines occupational therapy as the following;
“In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
Occupational therapy services typically include:
- an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
- customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
- an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.
Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team”.
About Occupational Therapy. (2012). Retrieved September 11, 2012, from http://www.aota.org/en/About-Occupational-Therapy.aspx.
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PATH TO BECOMING AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Upon successful completion of the prerequisites, baccalaureate and master’s level required courses, and electives, the student will have fulfilled the educational requirements for entry into the profession. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Address for NBCOT: 800 S. Frederick Ave., Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20877-1450. Phone: (301)990-7979. After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be an occupational therapist, registered (OTR). In addition, most states require licensure to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. A felony conviction may adversely affect an individual’s eligibility for certification as an occupational therapist. Individuals with a felony conviction are urged to immediately contact the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) for regulations regarding your specific circumstance, and procedures to follow to determine your eligibility to practice. All requests for early determination of practice eligibility are held in strictest confidence by the NBCOT..
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MASTER OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PROGRAM
The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program is for persons who have completed a baccalaureate degree and are ready for graduate education. Our program is a 24 month full-time educational commitment. A maximum of 48 students are admitted into the program annually. Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program must perform certain essential functions in order to participate in and complete program requirements. A list of these essential functions is provided under “Information for the Prospective Student”.
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Information for the Prospective Student:
- Application Process
- Transfer Student Guidelines
- Common Baccalaureate Degrees Earned
- Prerequisite Requirements with UCA Course Numbers
- Required Volunteer/Observation Experience
- Printable Brochure
- UCA Department of Occupational Therapy Essential Functions
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For further information, please contact Program Advisor Dr. Catherine Acre
Phone: (501) 450-5017
Department of Occupational Therapy
Doyne Health Science Center, Suite 100
201 Donaghey Avenue
Conway, AR 72035