Occupational Therapy Schools In Atlanta
Occupational therapists are responsible in developing therapeutic treatment plans that help patients overcome their illnesses, disabilities and injuries. Their aim as a healthcare professional is to assist patients in maximizing their capacities to handle activities for their personal lives and career. It can be very challenging to be an occupational therapist but it is rewarding and highly in-demand. Several healthcare institutions are looking for OT’s to render services on elderly, children with special needs and patients with physical disabilities or injuries.
Job Responsibilities of Occupational Therapists
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm#tab-2), occupational therapists do the following:
- Assess and observe patients in doing tasks and review the medical history
- Establish treatment plans as well as activities and goals that needs to be accomplished
- Assist people having various disabilities
- Demonstrate exercises to people having chronic conditions especially those with joint and arthritis sufferers
- Evaluate the patient’s workplace and home in order to identify his/her health needs
- Educate the immediate family and employer on how to care patients with disabilities
- Recommend special equipments like wheelchairs and instruct patients on the way to use it
- Evaluate patient’s progress and report it to physicians as well as other healthcare providers.
Work Environment and Salary
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm#tab-3), there are 108,800 jobs for occupational therapists in 2010. Forty eight percent of them are employed in offices of speech, physical and occupational therapists, audiologists and hospitals. Some occupational therapists worked under home health services, nursing homes and schools. They spend more time to patients and may be required to move or lift patients as well as heavy equipments.
The median salary of an occupational therapist in May 2010 is $72,320. The lowest 10 percent earned $48,920 or less and the highest 10 percent earned as much as $102,520. Most of them are full time occupational therapists, with working schedules of night and day shifts.
How to Be an Occupational Therapist in Atlanta
Occupational therapy requires formal education before taking certification or licensing exams. However, it is important to take note that occupational therapists should have qualities such as communication skills, compassion to serve, interpersonal skills, listening skills, patience and writing skills. All these qualities are needed in order to successfully help with persons having disabilities.
Moreover, in order to enter the occupation, a master’s degree for occupational therapy is needed. Schools require a bachelor’s degree in a specific course like physiology or biology but there are some institutions that offer a combined BS/MS degree for occupational therapy. In Atlanta, occupational therapy programs can be taken in the following schools:
- Brenau University (http://www.brenau.edu/) – The occupational therapy master’s degree program in Brenau University is a 7-semester day program in Gainesville main campus. Students who wished to receive online and on-site coursework can take the day program in North Atlanta campus. A bachelor’s degree program in psychology, biology, statistics, lab sciences or medical terminology is needed prior to admission. After this, students will need to complete courses like neuroscience, clinical reasoning and kinesiology. They will be required also to gain experience of fieldwork in occupational therapy settings.
- Georgia Regents University Augusta (http://www.gru.edu/alliedhealth/ot/index.php) – According to U.S. News and World Report (www.usnews.com/), the occupational therapy program in GRU is ranked 25. The educational curriculum offered by GRU includes classroom sessions, hands-on skills, assessment and interventions, management/supervision courses, leadership development, research projects and fieldwork experiences. GRU is committed in providing quality education and ethical care in order to provide the healthcare needs of diverse population.
- Brown Mackie College (http://www.brownmackie.edu/merrillville/healthcare-and-wellness-programs/occupational-therapy-assistant-aas-163912.aspx) – Brown Mackie College offers occupational therapy assistant program to compassionate, reliable and patient individuals. The program is combined with classroom lectures, laboratory work, as well as clinical experiences. This program helps the students in their career especially in making a difference to people with disabilities and special needs.
As soon as the educational program is finished, one can take the certification exam in order to be employed in different healthcare field. The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy or NBCOT (http://www.nbcot.org/) takes responsibility on all certification exam application and exams. Be guided with their guidelines through their website.