Most if not all, medical professionals have their own organizations to be affiliated with. This is because their work has to follow standards to enable a uniformity of services offered to the patients. This holds true for occupational therapists as well as their work is focused on assisting those that are not able to perform daily tasks on their own. With this, even if the patient transfers the treatment can be continued even with a different occupational therapist in another area.
Aside from this, the professional organization is able to keep the members updated on the latest developments in the field. The practice of occupational therapists moves forward thru better treatment using therapy. Occupational therapists also make use of equipment and other materials to guide their patients during sessions. Learning how these machines work does not stop in school but is part of the continuing education for medical professionals including occupational therapists.
The main professional organization of occupational therapists is the AOTA or American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. It is not compulsory for occupational therapists to be a member of but it is realized that the benefits of membership is able to boost the career in occupational therapy. To become a member of this organization have certain requirements such as completing a four-year bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy or earned a master’s program. Getting a certification from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy is also part of the requirement.
Annual memberships are at $225 with the member getting full benefits. These benefits include journal subscriptions that are related to occupational therapy as well as newsletters for updates on the profession. Members also get discounts for registrations on annual conferences held by the AOTA and National Student Conclave. Exclusively AOTA members can access online self-paced continuing education materials and courses. For those that have no employment yet, the AOTA members can post their resumes to probable employer directly.
Other than the AOTA, occupational therapists can also become members of the state organizations. Each state has its own in-state association for occupational therapists. Membership fee is also paid but is noted to be lesser than that of the AOTA. Occupational therapists can easily search for them online and membership can also be done through the internet.
For most occupational therapists, professional organizations membership is seen to be for keeping up with the field. However, others find it a good way to interact with people who are working in the same field. Exchanging stories and building a network is a good way to stay in the career and connecting with those that understand what the scope of the work.