Am I too old to begin OT school?

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Levan in Anywhere

61 months ago

Actually, that isn't my only question (this is gonna be a looooong post). I'm hoping to get some overall advice on whether or not going to OT school would be right for me given my age and my reasons for wanting to make a commitment like this:

Working full time, it will probably take me two or three years to ace my prerequisites, study for the GRE, and get in my shadow hours. Then another year or two to save up as much money as I can, followed by two and a half years of full time grad school. At this rate, I'll be 48 years old when I graduate.

Assuming I can make 50 K to start and 60 K in a year or two, I'll be better off financially even if I put half my salary towards paying off my student loans. My current earning potential is dismal and I desperately need a fresh start in life...

I have four concerns:

1. How hard is an MOT program? I was a pretty good student (3.4), but this was in a liberal arts undergrad program and it was a long time ago. I'm worried that I won't be able to handle the academic workload. If I bomb even one final exam, there's no way to make up that class later, right?

2. Will a middle-aged man be totally out of place among the other students? I'm assuming there will be a lot of group projects, and somebody's gonna have to include the old guy...

3. Once you're practicing, how physically demanding is the work? If this is going to pay off, I'm going to have to work for twenty years... Can people in their 60's still do the work?

4. I don't want to do long-term work with toileting seniors or dementia (I'll explain why below). How much will that restrict my ability to relocate, earn a good salary, and maintain a long career?

As for number four above, after being a full time caregiver for both of my parents, doing that for a living would be reliving a heartbreaking period in my life. I could do it as a part of training (either during school or as part of a rotation on the job), but not day in day out for yea

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Levan in Anywhere

61 months ago

I guess I'm going to have to finish this in chunks:

As for number four above, after being a full time caregiver for both of my parents, doing that for a living would be reliving a heartbreaking period in my life. I could do it as a part of training (either during school or as part of a rotation on the job), but not day in day out for years. Maybe after my parents have been gone for a few years I'll feel differently, but then again, if I'm getting on in years myself, I'd probably want to stay away from SNF's as long as I can :)

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Levan in Anywhere

61 months ago

I'm considering OT for a few reasons:

First off... Earning potential. I know practicing OT's probably don't think of themselves as making great money, but compared to my current situation, it's a ton to me.

Second: Job security. I don't ever want to be this desperate for a job again. A typical job posting these days reads something like "Compensation: $12 per hour. No benefits. Bachelor's degree and 3-5 years related experience required"... and they get 500 people begging for this. To see recruiters actively looking for OT's on message boards is mind blowing in this economy.

Third: Ability to relocate. I will need to relocate in the future. I have no ability to transfer anywhere now, and no specific skills that can't be filled locally.

Continued...

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Levan in Anywhere

61 months ago

Fourth: I think I may have finally found my calling in life. Something I can be proud of, and something I can (finally) be good at. During my time with my parents, I got myself up to speed as best I could with various practitioners (geriatricians, pain specialists, psychologists, PT, speech therapy, etc), and came up with a holistic sense of what I could do for them and how they could help themselves.

It took a long while for me to fully accept that their physical and cognitive decline was inevitable. I knew I could delay it, and I did. I took away their fear, and replaced it with a sense of accomplishment. I gave them a few good years they wouldn't have had without me. I was their son, their caregiver, and their coach. I cried on my own time...

With the right training and education, I think my compassion and intellectual curiosity could serve me well as an OT. However, the road to getting there seems very daunting at this stage in my life.

Thanks for reading, and please let me know what you think.

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Joy

61 months ago

Have you thought about OTA(Occupational Therapy Assistant)? It's an Assoc. degree, 2 years to finish and the pay is still good with very little debt when you are done. Just a thought!

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justme in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

60 months ago

Believe me there is a reason there may be some job openings in OT. It is usually for the worst jobs available, that consist of CNA type work, with no benefits and backbreaking experience. Sorry to tell you this. You will be forced to produce more minutes then you are paid for. It is in no way a pleasant job. There has to be something else out there, but I don't know what to tell you. If I knew I would never have gone into OT. Good luck in finding something.

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Levan in Anywhere

60 months ago

Thanks for your responses!

Aside from my prerequisites, it would take the same amount of time for me to get an associates as a masters. I know the tuition would be much less for an associates, but you're more limited in how much you can borrow per year as an undergrad to cover things like room and board. I haven't found any part time associates programs in my area yet, and I know at least the PTA program would be far too demanding to attend school full time and work very many hours at all.

PTD is out of the question for me financially. In any case, I'm already concerned about the physical demands of occupational therapy. I can't imagine PT or PTA as being viable when you're in your 50's or 60's.

I don't think I'm cut out for nursing (too much stress and weird hours), but speech pathology may be an option. I'll have to look into it further. Anyone know how plentiful the jobs are for new grads in that field?

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Levan in Anywhere

60 months ago

I really wish there was more of a consensus about they type of jobs OT's actually do. Some people say the SNF's pay more and that's why people get stuck in that setting. Others say that's where almost all of the work really is for new graduates, and other settings are very difficult to get into and/or don't pay enough to justify the cost of the degree.

Most websites certainly don't highlight the toileting, and make it seem like OT has all these rewarding possibilities and plentiful opportunities in a variety of settings. I'm sure the schools would have a lot less applications if they said that 80% of new grads were spending the bulk of their working hours bathing and toileting...

Thanks for giving me your real world experiences.

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Suzie Que in Fort Collins, Colorado

60 months ago

AOTA says that most OT's work in a school setting, followed by SNF. According to AOTA, 30% of OT's work in schools and 25% work in SNF's. Although perhaps since SNF jobs are less desirable, more jobs are available in that setting. Don't listen to FGT and justme, they are bitter and have spent an inordinate amount of time clogging up these forums with their negativity. Shadow some OT's in different settings, including the SNF setting, and then make your decision about whether OT is right for you. And hey, shadow some SLP's too, and see which career you like better. Make your decision that way. Don't base your decision on the ramblings of a few people on an online forum.

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chris in Sacramento, California

60 months ago

Yeah b4 I went to OT school I did my volunteer hours at an inpatient subacute pediatrics clinic under an OT. And the treatments from slp, pt, rt, ot, and nursing along with the activity director were all done in the same large room simultaneously on 10-15 kids at once... now granted they were severely disabled (tbi, cva, spi) but in my whole 2-3 months there the PT just kind of hung around and ocasionally helped with testing the todlers tracking abilities and their reflexes but honestly the OT pretty much ran the show. The SLP only had 1 or 2 years experience so she really didn't know exactly what she was doing yet (we actually talked a lot and she told me this herself lol) and the RT would maintain the kids breathing tubes but not very often. Lol most of the time we all jist sat around. And talked while I learned a few treatments but it was very relaxed setting. Pediatritions and social workers would come by every now and then to say hello to the kids and ask a few questions but that was it. So I guess what I'm trying to say is you really need to go shadow/volunteer bcuz that's the only way you'll KNOW. You never know with the internet, especially forums!

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Levan in Anywhere

60 months ago

Thanks again!

I agree that I shouldn't put too much emphasis on the experiences I read online, but there's a lot of practicing professionals here, and I've got to start somewhere.

Although toileting and bathing is not something I'd want to do, I've got to make a living somehow, so that's not my only concern about this field. Whatever profession I wind up in, I need to make sure I can physically do the work into my 60's, or that with enough experience, I can move into something else more appropriate without additional schooling. If anyone could offer their opinions about that and my other original concerns (how hard the MOT program is, whether you can work while in school, whether their would be any older students, etc), I'd really appreciate it.

Also, someone posted in another thread that they got paid to do their field work. That would certainly help out a lot if this is common.

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chris s c in Sacramento, California

60 months ago

Levan in Anywhere said: Thanks again!

I agree that I shouldn't put too much emphasis on the experiences I read online...

AHA! but there lies the faulty premise bro! The question is HOW DO YOU KNOW that everyone on an online forum such as this IS a practicing professional? Or even an adult for that matter? Common sense should tell you that the best place to start isn't somewhere where even the identities of the people you talk to cannot be determined. For all you know we are all 12 year olds in a private school computer lab somewhere in Nevada. That is why you should START in the real world in clinics, and THEN if you feel you haven't gotten a hold of what OT is go to a university and ask the professors. THEN ask your neighbor, search news articles, go to pubmed and research peer-reviewed journals, I mean there are a hundred things I would do to find out about the questions you ask before I would ever think of consulting an anonymous online forum for answers that have a HUGE effect on my life! But thats just me...

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chris s c in Sacramento, California

60 months ago

OR look at it this way bro... If you REALLY desire to learn about the world from forums pleeeeease OH GOD PLEASE go to one where you can actually VERIFY the identities of the people you are chatting with! There are free PROFESSIONAL health forums everywhere where you can register with your name, address, phone number, etc. and know who you are talking to. Here, any one person can register as countless identities and make you believe you are getting a varied opinion when all you are getting is one persons opinion (who may be 12 years old). Indeed.com is nice, but it isn't even as reputable as facebook! At least facebook has pictures of people! lol... and you know when a profile is fake because it will have like 2 things on it and no one will write on that persons wall etc. Here all u get is a name and a location.... wise up bro!

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justme in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

60 months ago

FGT in Simpsonville, South Carolina said: Pardon me Suzie Que, but you're offensive. Don't call me bitter. I speak my opinion on these forums without insulting any person, just speaking about what I feel about OT. And I am not the only person who feels this way. And I don't think having a total of about 10 posts is an inordinate amount of time. You're rude and immature.

I have to agree with you. I am not bitter either but just don't like working as an OT so I feel as though I am doing a good deed by telling others of the hardship that this field as done toward my life. It isn't just the two of us, as you will notice most of the people that like OT are just students and have never had to experience the grueling day to day nonsense that this field takes us. Surely we would not pretend to be OTs and write this. The students are very scared because they have invested money and time in studying this and now are learning the truth from people and don't know what to do. Of course they want to defend the field because they want it to be around and make money from it. But we all would be better off without it. I only wish I had know that a long time ago and gone into a more rewarding field in which I could feel a sense of pride and integrity. I am not sure why this insults people as I am just expressing my feeling and what I believe to be the truth. Than you FGT for not backing down.

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your MAMA in Douglasville, Georgia

60 months ago

justme in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: I have to agree with you. I am not bitter either but just don't like working as an OT so I feel as though I am doing a good deed by telling others of the hardship that this field as done toward my life. It isn't just the two of us, as you will notice most of the people that like OT are just students and have never had to experience the grueling day to day nonsense that this field takes us. Surely we would not pretend to be OTs and write this. The students are very scared because they have invested money and time in studying this and now are learning the truth from people and don't know what to do. Of course they want to defend the field because they want it to be around and make money from it. But we all would be better off without it. I only wish I had know that a long time ago and gone into a more rewarding field in which I could feel a sense of pride and integrity. I am not sure why this insults people as I am just expressing my feeling and what I believe to be the truth. Than you FGT for not backing down.

This is all too funny...first of all, do the students not get some shadowing/volunteering before investing time and money? Second of all, all I see is complaining about ADLs? HAHAHA...that is funny because I am an LPN, and nurses of all levels work with ADLS. CNAs get paid crap compared to you guys. What do you make? A mean of say 55-60k for ADLS and your complaining? HAHA...wow!Try doing the same crap on 17 patients for 7/hr. as a CNA. Third of all, where is OT going? It has been around for a long time for good reasons. Many have benefited from the practice. I hardly believe it will go anywhere. Private schools may sale anything, but state universities would not invest the money into research, facilities, and staffing if the profession was being phased out...please guys...if you don't like bathing or toileting people for 60k, then by all means, let the rest of us do it...I certainly wouldn't mind it!

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justme in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

60 months ago

OT may be a small step above being a CNA, but the thing is I never wanted to be a CNA or a nurse. I made a terrible mistake becoming an OT. I actually don't know why I did it. Not a day goes by that I do not regret this decision. The reason I searched for this forum was to see if others in this field were suffering as I am. To me this is totally worthless work and if I was younger and had years to make enough money, I would quit tomorrow and never look back.

For those that love CNA type work, then maybe OT is an OK job for them. But is it worth all that school, and money and aggravation involved. Why not just be a nurse if that is what you like?

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your MAMA in Douglasville, Georgia

60 months ago

justme in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: OT may be a small step above being a CNA, but the thing is I never wanted to be a CNA or a nurse. I made a terrible mistake becoming an OT. I actually don't know why I did it. Not a day goes by that I do not regret this decision. The reason I searched for this forum was to see if others in this field were suffering as I am. To me this is totally worthless work and if I was younger and had years to make enough money, I would quit tomorrow and never look back.

For those that love CNA type work, then maybe OT is an OK job for them. But is it worth all that school, and money and aggravation involved. Why not just be a nurse if that is what you like?

I understand what you are saying. You simply do not like that type of work. There is nothing wrong or negative about that. What I am saying though is yes! It is worth all of that investment. Becoming a nurse at a BSN level takes much time too, and with most programs, a full time commitment. The thing is, ADL work is the only real similarity between the too. We are not consuming much of our time on rehabilitative issues. We are generally carrying out MD orders being the "eyes and ears" for MDs with assessment and evaluation of orders. The ADLs are the very basic and I stress basic. Even in LPN school, we spent all of maybe 2 weeks on ADLs. My point is that I understand where you are coming from, but rehab is a better fit for someone like me. I don't care for blood,mucosa, and guts so much. It doesn't bother me, but I would like to move beyond it. Plus, in nursing, we don't usually get to see progress in patients. It happens but rarely. It all depends on the situation. I guess the same could be said for OT. At least as an OT, I could feel a sense of progress. Nursing can be rewarding in the acute settings, but LTC gets to be depressing. Once again, in regards to the schooling, a BSN will take 4-5 years on a traditional full or part time track. 4yrs BS+ 2yrsMOT=6?

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your MAMA in Douglasville, Georgia

60 months ago

Doesn't seem that bad to me in the long run. You have a master's degree. You have more opportunity with that alone. It may be tough to get a job outside of OT, but you have at least a BS and MS behind you. I would imagine that finding a good position in something else would not be as difficult for you as it would for an undergrad student like myself. Your salary range as an OT is about the same for an MSN RN so the amount of school, time, stress, money is not a real difference. The jobs are the real difference. I just think 6ok/yr. to assist in ADLs and assist in patient improvements sounds much better than $7-15/hr. for ADLs as a CNA. I was never a CNA, but I see how hard they work. You have to really enjoy what you are doing in healthcare. Too many people get into it just for the money. Healthcare for the money=career disaster

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disgusted in Bangor, Pennsylvania

59 months ago

justme in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said: Believe me there is a reason there may be some job openings in OT. It is usually for the worst jobs available, that consist of CNA type work, with no benefits and backbreaking experience. Sorry to tell you this. You will be forced to produce more minutes then you are paid for. It is in no way a pleasant job. There has to be something else out there, but I don't know what to tell you. If I knew I would never have gone into OT. Good luck in finding something.

You will be treating people for 50 to 75 minutes to get the highest RUG scores and you'll have a productivity level that you will have to meet. They expect C.O.T.A.s (2 year degreee to have a productivity level of about 90> because they don't do evaluations. You're treated like a production line worker and you can't get anyone to support your efforts at following Medicare regulations and guidelines. Therapy used to be a proud profession until rehabilitation companies came in and found out how much money they can make. It's bordering on a despicable way to make a living now. Try getting people with dementia to follow directions, wash, bath, dress. It's like committing insurance fraud everyday and no one really cares as long as the money is rolling in. Good luck to you whatever you decide.

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What in Tallmadge, Ohio

59 months ago

Honestly what are you guys talking about? In all the places I shadowed and am going to school for not one time have I heard that an OT assists in bathing the patient. We help with the ADL's in situations and scenarios that help people in their everyday lives. The bathing, bathroom assistance, and other things are mostly done by the STNA's and we monitor their progress.

I suggest you start off as an OTA then make a decision if OT is for you rather than waste 1000's of dollars in OT school and prerecs to get into OT school. If you work as an OTA and get some experience, you can also work part time and go to school. If its not for you, you can work part time as an OTA and go back to school full time. That way you can save money and be debt free. I am a male also and wouldn't mind being in this profession. I'm not gay either.

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meeee

59 months ago

What in Tallmadge, Ohio said: Honestly what are you guys talking about? In all the places I shadowed and am going to school for not one time have I heard that an OT assists in bathing the patient. We help with the ADL's in situations and scenarios that help people in their everyday lives. The bathing, bathroom assistance, and other things are mostly done by the STNA's and we monitor their progress.

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Are you kidding? ADLS are what OTs do. What do you do if you are fortunate enough not to have to do ADLS. Toilets, bathing and dressing are what the OT evaluations are about. But I see you said you were shadowing not really working as an OT. That makes a world of difference. You probably are not shown the worst of the OT world.

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ToddLPN in Douglasville, Georgia

59 months ago

meeee said:

Yeah..it is horrible to have to help people. Who would want to become a therapist just so they can help people in therapy all day? That's like becoming a firefighter and having to fight a fire. What are they thinking? Gosh!

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CoachNYC in New York, New York

59 months ago

Hi Levan,

OT does appear to be in high demand and as the baby boomers age it will be in more demand. I went back to grad school after 20 years on Wall Street and earned an MSW - I met OT interns - some were working with children who had ADHD and other problems and some were working with the elderly. You may as well start studying and begin taking some of your required classes now. You can probably meet with someone from school and find out about job opportunities.

I went back to school in middle age and loved it! The classroom discussions were lively and there were also other middle aged students in the classes. Sometimes when you take the first step even if it feels scary things have a way of working out.

All the best,
Donna
www.BreakThroughLifeCoaching.net

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What in Tallmadge, Ohio

59 months ago

I can understand people making career decisions if they don't like being an OT or COTA. One of the best things about working as an OT or COTA is you can easily go back to school in search of your new career and pay it off. You will have a guaranteed job also.

I have not ruled out being a High School science teacher and coach football and track in the future. I enjoy science, and making a difference in somebody's life. I also enjoy sports. There are schools in my area that have night classes so I could work as a COTA and pay it off easily. If I get laid off bam I'm back to being a COTA.

These are both rewarding, and jobs in high demand. Always keep your options open, and if plan B fails and you get laid off, you still have plan A.

I'll make my decision after working a year being as a COTA if its OT school or science teacher. It's better to pay 2,000 than to pay 60,000-80,000 and not like it and owe a ton of loans. I have a B.S already in Exercise Physiology and 60% of my classes cancelled out for the COTA program I am planning on going to and pre recs to get into an OT program. Most of my science courses cancelled out for a science teacher license and all I have to take is EDU classes mostly.

Exercise Physiology is a dead program, do not go for a masters in it. RN's are taking the cardiac rehab jobs

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D_Tnt in Everett, Washington

58 months ago

I chose to go on the OT path the beginning of my Jr. year of University. I got my Bachelor's of Science in Sport and Exercise Science (Kinesioligy) and specialized in pre-health care and pre-OT, getting all my prerequisites for OT grad school. I did my volunteer internship at Seattle Children's Hospital (400 hours)(patients 21 and under), mainly in rehabiliation services (OT, PT, and ST). I loved it at Children's! I shadowed a few OTs and PTs there and it seemed very rewarding and nothing really gross. And never did I see a therapist do bathing or toileting. Mainly they did Evaluations and Consults. It was very rewarding and a great experience. After I graduated with my Bachelor's I decided to take some time off, I worked for Gentiva (a for profit, private health care co.) AS a Behavior Rehab Specialist, while a good experience, it was hard and stressfull, I felt like I was used to make money off of being contracted through a public school dist. I now have a job as a rehab aide in the inpatient acute care at Providence Hospital. Working at a not for profit faith based instituion, I am so much happier, you really feel appreciated for what you do. However it is a different side of Rehab then what I experienced at Children's. Most of the patients are elderly, and while I haven't seen therapists bathe patients, they do evaluations of whether they can get up and walk to the bathroom. I need to do more shadowing in this setting to see if it is something i Want to do. Most of the therapist like their jobs and seem happy, maybe one or two don't but it was because it wasn't what they thought it would be or is a bad fit for them. It seems like being physically fit and able would really be helpful dealing with bigger patients, but no one has to do what they don't feel safe doing.

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Yolanda in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

58 months ago

I'm reading positive and negative comments about OT on the forum. For those that dislike being in the profession are you an actual OT or a COTA? I was told there was a difference. For those that enjoy the profession again are you COTA or OT? What is the daily routine for an OT and COTA? And if you don't mind sharing, what's the starting pay. I know if differs for the various regions of the country. Please help. I want to get my degree as a COTA or OT.

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FL COTA in Palm Coast, Florida

55 months ago

I am in North East Florida and work as a COTA in a pediatric home health setting. I LOVE my job more than any other I have EVER had. I work with the craziest and sweetest and sometimes the most helpless children. I don't shower and dress them like a CNA, I teach them how to shower and dress. I teach them how to play, to write, to move.. I teach families how to care for their children with disabilities. How can I not love this job.
OT's and COTA's have opportunites in so many different areas. If you want to specialize in Spinal Cord Injuries you can, or Traumatic Brain Injuries you can. Pediatrics, Home Health, Out Patient facilities, go overseas to fit the less fortunate into wheelchairs. I understand that SNF's are not always the best places to work, but I know many OT's that LOVE it. I say there are way too many opportunites out there to stay at a facility that you don't like. Get out and explore other places. Why make your clients suffer along with you. If you don't like your job they probably don't like the job youre doing. I pray that you will all land your dream jobs. I would like to work somewhere like Arnold Palmer or Craigs hospital either with children or spinal cord injured adults. We possess a variety of amazing skills that span a great deal of service areas. When one of your friends or family members has a knee or hip replacement or have heart surgery or find themselves with a rotator cuff injury find out with therapist they and their family are most grateful for. OT's can be hero's.
Don't limit yourselves to a nursing home where you bathe and dress, rather find a place where you can teach folks to bathe and dress themselves or work with another population. Kids are so rewarding, especially in a home health setting.
As for the one asking about being old in school. I am soon to be 36 and when I was in school several years ago I had 40 and 50 year olds in class with me and they rocked it. It's all what you put into it! Sorry so long, hope it helped.

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FL COTA in Palm Coast, Florida

55 months ago

hahahah I just realized how old this discussion is.

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Denise in Hattiesburg, Mississippi

52 months ago

FGT in Simpsonville, South Carolina said: I would really research the OT field before making the investment of time and money in OT. Toileting, bathing are a MAJOR component to OT. Don't let people tell you otherwise. Some will tell you of all the great things you can do with an OT degree. It really isn't true. THe most job opportunities you will have would be in a skilled nursing facility where you do a lot of toileting and bathing.

If you looking for a new career, try nursing, physical therapy/pt assistant, Speech therapy or something along those lines. You will have job security and a choice of many different type of jobs with nursing. Plus, a man in OT can be difficult. I say that b/c of all of the dressing/bathing that is done in OT and you;ll be dressing, bathing elderly ladies who are usually pretty modest. Also, try observing a few different occupations.

I am a COTA and it's turned out to be not as great as I thought it would be.

Whatever you decide to do in healthcare, I'm sure you'll be great at it. You sound like a kind, compassionate person who genuinely cares.

I thought of doing OT before choosing RT. It seems to be more beneficial. At times being an RT can be stressful. I would like to do something that makes a difference, one that can actually be seen. RT has its good days and bad, but I would like to give OT a try. I enjoy helping those that can't help themself. Give me more insight please.

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kussnyder in Royal Oak, Michigan

36 months ago

Hi. I just graduated last year and am 46 yrs old. I live in Michigan, and there are jobs out there at a decent pay. It can be hard work tho. I've avoided the TBI & SCI programs for that very reason!

I would NOT suggest a COTA program. I don't think there are as many jobs in that as there are for Ots and the pay is not as good. Also, since they are doing the treatments that the OT's have decided, I gotta think that's the more physical job of the 2.

SLP might be a good option. I work in an acute care setting and the SLPs do mostly swallow exams/treats with a little bit of the speech & cognitive components. Definitely less physically demanding.

As for toileting, it is part of the job, but I don't think it will be nearly as emotionally charged for you as caring for your parents. And personally, the toileting doesn't bother me so much as the showers! So hot in there!! Out patient jobs, of course, don't have this focus, but they are harder to find. Lots of focus on hands there. I think there are a lot of school jobs, but for me, the recruiters are looking for therapists for Ohio and I just can't relocate. Lots of travel jobs out there if you like that sort of thing. Mostly SNF tho...

For me, school was more difficult the second time around. This was my second MA, so I have something to compare it to. I had to study a whole lot harder this time around, but it WAS doable. Plus I think that I had more of a desire to learn as much as I could this time around, so that probably made me study a bit more as well! There were 3 other middle aged folks that started the program with me, but I was the only one going full-time so ended up with a bunch of 20-somethings. Was a bit awkward at times, but for the most part, I was accepted at face value

Hope this helps :) OT is a good job and is rewarding. You just have to decide if it's right for you

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Liz in Lexington, Kentucky

35 months ago

Levan in Anywhere said: I guess I'm going to have to finish this in chunks:

As for number four above, after being a full time caregiver for both of my parents, doing that for a living would be reliving a heartbreaking period in my life. I could do it as a part of training (either during school or as part of a rotation on the job), but not day in day out for years. Maybe after my parents have been gone for a few years I'll feel differently, but then again, if I'm getting on in years myself, I'd probably want to stay away from SNF's as long as I can :)

LEVAN, ITS BEEN 2 YEARS SINCE YOU FIRST STARTED THIS POST, JUST WONDERING IF YOU DECIDED TO STUDY OT AFTER ALL? I JUST GRADUATED WITH A MS IN OT AND WAS CURIOUS TO KNOW HOW YOU LIKE THE FIELD.

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Mrs. W in Chula Vista, California

32 months ago

Hi everyone, I am 46 years old and was thinking of becoming a COTA after being let go from a job working as a preschool instructional assistant for the last seven years. I love to work with kids but I'm wondering about how much physical stamina do you need to have,and if you need to do any heavy lifting? I am a petite woman, but not frail. I would like to find a career where I can work in for a good number of years. Any advice would be appreciated, Thanks!

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OT123 in Torrance, California

32 months ago

Mrs. W in Chula Vista, California said: Hi everyone, I am 46 years old and was thinking of becoming a COTA after being let go from a job working as a preschool instructional assistant for the last seven years. I love to work with kids but I'm wondering about how much physical stamina do you need to have,and if you need to do any heavy lifting? I am a petite woman, but not frail. I would like to find a career where I can work in for a good number of years. Any advice would be appreciated, Thanks!

You may have difficulty finding a job working as a COTA with children. In my experience, most schools hire OTRs and very few COTAs. I believe the majority of COTA jobs are in skilled nursing facilities. Also, OT with children involves a lot of play, so physical stamina is very important. I know OT students who confess they prefer to work with older populations because the children are too energetic to work with for 8 hours a day. I don't think COTAs working with children do too much heavy lifting.

Conversely, COTAs in SNF need less physical stamina but probably do more heavy lifting (maneuvering patients, etc).

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Mrs. W in Chula Vista, California

32 months ago

OT123 in Torrance, California said: You may have difficulty finding a job working as a COTA with children. In my experience, most schools hire OTRs and very few COTAs. I believe the majority of COTA jobs are in skilled nursing facilities. Also, OT with children involves a lot of play, so physical stamina is very important. I know OT students who confess they prefer to work with older populations because the children are too energetic to work with for 8 hours a day. I don't think COTAs working with children do too much heavy lifting.

Conversely, COTAs in SNF need less physical stamina but probably do more heavy lifting (maneuvering patients, etc).

Having worked in preschool, I see agree that the amount of physical stamina is exponentially higher working with kids. Thank you for your insight,and I will take what you said into consideration.

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