How To Get Into The Best OT And OTA Schools In Alabama


Health professionals are among the indispensable workers in any community of Alabama.  It is through their knowledge and skills that they are able to help cure or maintain the health of the people as much as they can.  Among these health workers, who are fundamental in any medical facility, are the Occupational Therapists and the Occupational Therapy Assistants.

Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistant are those that involve themselves in the rehabilitation of patients.  Usually, these patients are those that have disabling conditions physically, mentally, emotionally or developmentally.  This means that the patients are taught and guided by the OTs and OTAs to be able to go about with their daily lives without depending too much on other people.  They are given the ability to live their lives independently and going about what could have been normal tasks on their own.

Occupational therapists are more focused on the evaluation of each patient and what their individual treatment program should be.  Occupational therapy assistants on the other hand work around the office in prepping the clinic, recording patient’s progress and other administrative tasks.  OTAs are under the supervision of the OT and waits on what the instructions of the OT.

Necessary Preparation Before Entering College

To prepare extensively on the college course of OT and OTA, it is best to decide early to pursue such career.  During high school, an aspiring OT and OTA are already determined to follow this health worker’s path.  Also during these years, those who want to become an OT or OTA is suggested to get more subjects related on this type of health science.  Doing so will ensure that the basics of the course is already known and help in finding out if the career is the right one.  Aiming for the top scores will also boost the credentials when the time comes for applying in these schools.

Preparation Before Entering CollegeLearning is best done when classroom lessons are coupled with outside teachings as well.  Do not just rely on the additional subjects about OT and OTA but rather, read or watch documentaries about the life of this health profession.  This can be done through visiting the local library or using the internet for research purposes.

In the weekends or summer breaks, it is recommended to volunteer or get a summer job under a practicing occupational therapist.  This will provide an actual environment of what the job is all about.  The good side and the not so good in this work in order to assess if such career can be the future life.  Read as well about the colleges or universities that offer the course with accredited program by the ACOTE or Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education.

Essential Skills Of Being An OT And OTA

For those who are inclined to become occupational therapists, there are essential skills that are required to be a good one.  Occupational therapists should have the patients, flexibility as well as creativity to work well with any patient.  These therapists are able to handle well any personality of patients especially those under extreme stress in their less appealing situations.  Positive energy is what should be a dominant characteristic when working in this healthcare position to encourage patients.  Occupational therapists must have the high interest in being with people and providing understanding as well care for their conditions.  Physically, the OTs and OTAs must be strong as they may need to carry patients and can withstand long hours of standing.

Educational Requirements To Become An OT And OTA

After all the evaluation and determined to follow the footsteps of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant, choose the school for you.  In the state of Alabama there are four schools that have accredited occupational therapy programs while only one school with accredited occupational therapy assistant program.  Among those offering the occupation therapy program are University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama State University, University of South Alabama and Tuskegee University.  Wallace State Community College Hanceville is the school for those looking into the occupational therapy assistant program.

To practice as occupational therapists, it is necessary to at least obtain a masters degree in this course.  A bachelor’s degree may not have to be on occupational therapy but is related to the degree such as sociology, biology, psychology, anatomy and many others.  The masters program then pursued will be of occupational therapy.  Occupational therapists need to pass a licensure exam to practice in their profession.

For occupational therapy assistants, an associate degree has to be accomplished.  This program runs for two years and typically combines classroom and clinical fieldwork.  Be sure to check if the school in Alabama that you pick is accredited by ACOTE.  After the associate degree is completed, a licensure test will also be taken to practice in the field with the occupational therapists.

Job Opportunities Of An OT And OTA

There are many places occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants can work but most are employed in the hospitals under the rehabilitation department.  There are those who also work in offices or private clinics of health professionals.  Occupational therapy assistants may be assigned to work with the occupational therapists’ offices.  Then occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants can also be found in nursing homes as well as schools and home health care agencies.

Salary And Work Environment Of An OT And OTA

Occupational therapists have an average income of $73,820 per annum.  The range of the salaries is from $49,980 to $104,350.  It is observed that those who work in the big cities are more inclined to receive a higher pay.  Those also with acquisition of more postgraduate programs are able to advance in their careers as occupational therapists and have more job opportunities in the field.

Occupational TherapistOccupational therapy assistants are able to receive a median salary at $47,490 per year or $22.83 an hour.  The range of the income of the OTAs is between $41,289 and $59,774.  Occupational therapy assistants can continue and become occupational therapists when obtaining the necessary educational credits.  This can be done through going to school traditionally or by enrolling in accredited online schools that offer the OTA to OT program.

The work environment of a clinic where the OTs and OTAs practice their profession is sterile.  Equipment is of the latest technology to be able to provide the best care for the patients.  Most see that healthcare professionals are working around the clock, seven days a week but the OTs and OTAs have regular working hours.  They have the opportunity to travel when they work in home patients or enjoy summers when they work in schools.

The demand for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants is high in our present society.  OTs and OTAs are quite satisfied with their careers since they are able to help many patients to become functional again no matter their situation.  If you have the characters mentioned above, then you can easily become an OT or OTA in Alabama finishing at the top schools in the state.


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