The Best and Worst thing about Being an OT

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bebe in Houston, Texas

33 months ago

Quick question, is OT predominantly a female profession?

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SPenn2 in Queens, New York

33 months ago

OTDUDE in Los Angeles, California said: Debbie,

Thanx, but to answer your questions...
1. I would shadow at a SNF(skilled nursing facility), Outpatient clinic (and u could drop in inpatient..but it's a lot like a snf) in a hospital(private and/or county), and a pediatric clinic(if u enjoy working with kids) or school OT. I presented these options b/c they are ur most likely choices for jobs after OT school.
2. I can't say that I've felt OT's awareness to be growing, but logically as the baby boomers become older and require our therapy and autism rates continue to rise...I would assume that it should. The problem is OT is kinda pidgeon-holed into set fields...but, that's pretty much all jobs I suppose.
3. In hospital settings, I would say that in-patient (acute rehab) is often the most solo...(and lonely), while outpatient is generally considered the best mix of autonomy and supervision/guidance...I personally like outpatient rehab the most (even though I currently work SNF--i need the $$$)
4. I also have a problem with authority and generally that's also why I prefer outpatient...inpatient often interacts w/ everybody on the medical team( nurses, doctors, etc) and they're always walking in on ur sessions and interrupting. Outpatient generally has more of an interdisciplinary/team feeling where mutual support is more the norm (but this depends on the hospital)...lotsa drama queens in hospitals...so beware.

Well, my supervisor is looking for me so I gotta run.

Your comments have been really helpful. Thank You.

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Dan Young in Houston, Texas

33 months ago

Is there a loan forgiveness program that was being proposed for OT students? I thought I heard this somewhere, but can't find any information on this...Thanks!

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redds822 in Virginia Beach, Virginia

33 months ago

Hi ALl, i am new here. Just reading some posts. Have been an OT for 15 years. Mostly pediatrics, but have done Home health and SNF/ALF as well. LOVE being an OT. I am never really bored. WHen I get bored, I feel like there are alot of settings i can change within the same company (I have done outpatient, inpatient, EI, acute care, rehab all for one facility in pediatrics). I will say that there are mostly women OTs in pediatrics. Tehre have been a few pediatric male OTs. I have met more male OTs in home health and SNF. To surflLA, i have a friend who is an OT and she also has CP and she has been practicing for several years. She is a wonderful asset. Some things may be more challenging for you but I think you can adjust the setting you are working in based on your physical needs. I had a Speech therapist I worked with who had a complete SCI.

to the person asking about treatment planning...i think it depends again on the setting. I have 1 prn COTA where I work, so I only pass on my patients who I cannot fit into my schedule. Most SNFs have COTA and the OTRS mostly do the evals and tx planning. you just have to ask.

I was wondering if anyone had any iput on trying to get insurance set up or has any tips on starting your own company?

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judbay in Albuquerque, New Mexico

33 months ago

I wish to thank redds822 for the post. I have worked in large health care systems, however I've always had trouble when I request to learn a new setting. They 'll say that since I have a lot of experience with geriatrics they want to keep me in acute/rehab/SNF. I would like to learn more. Any suggestions? Maybe different depending on health care company you work for.

Thank you also for mentioning the folks you work with. I have medical issues, and have been in situations where people ridicule me (though perhaps I misunderstood). I've also have had rehab people say directly to me that I don't belong in the profession due to medical issues. I have asthma, and did have a situation in which coworkers laughed while I had an attack-though it may not have been laughing at me, perhaps they were just nervous? I don't know.

In any case, I wear a mask so I don't get infections from patients (and haven't for 4 years-not even a cold, the year before that it was a head cold which resolved easily.) Asthma is something that is fairly well controlled with medicines, though at times there can be exacerbations requiring more medicines. I miss no more than 5 days of work in a year. From a physical standpoint, I pass all the "essential functions" of the job. So, there is not a performance based reason to say I can't do the job. I just wear a mask so patients don't make me sick and to avoid other triggers. I normally bike for 1-1.5 hours a day, lift weights for an hour or so, stretch and do yoga. Once or twice a week I go swimming in addition to biking. I have moderate to severe persistent asthma based on the amount of medicine needed to keep it controlled. Coworkers who have told me I don't belong in the field usually base it on the asthma. However, when they test me, I can do all essential job functions.

I don't know the answer to your last question. Sorry, but thank you.

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lindaot in East Elmhurst, New York

33 months ago

Of course you pass the test.I wish I had your stamina for the 1 hour wiegt lifting!What really shocks me is the statements made on your behalf.Who really don't belong in the field are they,that have no compassion.Their behavior is quite astonishing.They should be ashame.Best of luck!Tey are lucky it's not me,I would have reported thier behavior and harrasment a while ago..

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judbay in Albuquerque, New Mexico

33 months ago

Thank you for your support, lindaot. To be fair, what I am reporting is my perception of events. It is possible that people have engaged in good natured joking without any intent of harm, but it doesn't come across that way to me. I have spoken directly to people, and sometimes they have stopped and sometimes not.

I don't work full time, and normally the biking and swimming is on days I have off. Yesterday, it was 1.5 of biking and 1 hour swimming and 1 hour of yoga. I am more consistent with the weight lifting and stretching as I think that's more important in terms of injury prevention while lifting a patient. That I'll do after work sometimes.

It is reasonable for a therapist to bring up if they have concerns about patient safety with a colleague. However, it should consider performance based information as well as diagnosis. To make a blanket statement, "if a person has any medical condition, they don't belong in the field at all" is not fair because it doesn't give the individual therapist a chance to show what they can do.

Asthma is a reversible obstruction of the lungs. It reverses with medicines and avoiding triggers, for the most part. The mask is to help me avoid triggers and to help lessen the annual amount of prednisone, which is a drug with many long term risks. I suspect some people are ignorant of the disease.

In any case, I swim and bicycle so all I'm missing is running for a triathelon. I have it in the back of my mind, but would want to spend more time training to gradually build up. Like I've said, I've always passed any exams employers have given.

I do get tired after working in environments that are 10 hour days with a lot of walking and heavy lifting 3 days in a row. The older therapists do as well. I do better in the 8 hour a day ones with not as much walking and lifting, like acute care. I've seen younger therapist who don't get as tired in the 10 hour places.

Thanks again for your support.

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judbay in Albuquerque, New Mexico

33 months ago

Thank you for your support, lindaot. It is important to know that this is my perception of events, and it is possible that people meant things as good natured joking. However, it did not come across that way to me. I have spoken to people about it, and some stopped and some did not.

I do not work full time, and go between environments. The ones that are 10 hours a day with a lot of walking and lifting I do get tired after 3 days in a row, as do many of the older therapists. I do better in the 8 hour a day ones with less walking and less heavy lifting, like in acute care.

I normally do the biking and swimming on days I don't work. Yesterday, it was 1.5 hours of biking, 1 hour of swimming, 1 hour of yoga. I am more consistent with the weight lifting and stretching after work since that is more important with injury prevention while lifting a patient.

Since I already do 2 events, I'm considering adding in a 3rd one for a triathelon, but have not yet made up my mind.

Making a blanket statement like, "if a person has any medical condition they don't belong in therapy at all" is not fair becuase it doesn't give a person a chance to show what they can do. All factors should be given equal weight, including diagnosis, current performance, historical performance, etc.

I suspect that some people are ignorant of the diagnosis. Asthma is a reversible airway obstruction. It can respond to medicines and avoiding triggers and severity ranges widely. Some rarely need intenvention, others are constantly in the ICU. People can die from it. I take high levels of meds, and use the mask to reduce the annual amount of prednisone, which is a drug with many long term risks. The most work I've missed is 5 days in a year due to an exacerbation, and this is over a 12 year span. I've always passed medical exams from employers, with the doctor clearing me as physically capable to be a therapist.

Anyway, thanks again for the support.

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judbay in Albuquerque, New Mexico

33 months ago

lindaot-sorry if there have been multiple posts or responses from me. The sytem was being weird, and it didn't look like it took. Oh, well....

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Tracy in Ambler, Pennsylvania

32 months ago

I have been an OT for 18 years. I have worked in sub acute rehab, hospitals, SNF, schools, and early intervention. I love being an OT. I could not imagine being anything else. I work with all different types of people; babies through 104 years old. The flexibility is fantastic!! I have never had an issue finding a job. It is just finding the job I care to work in that is the issue. I can be as hands on or off as I like. i have gotten involved with myofascial release that I love. I work with autistic students, that I love. There really is no limit to my imagination in regards to my treatment strategies. When I feel that I am bored with certain interventions, there are great sites that help me renew my interest. I wouldn't change a thing

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anna in Eugene, Oregon

29 months ago

your CP is an asset, especially if you are working with children, or in a community setting. If you are trying to pretend that you don't have it, I think you miss the point of OT. The right to be differently abled without being 'disabled' that is OT.

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judbay in Albuquerque, New Mexico

29 months ago

anna in Eugene, Oregon said: your CP is an asset, especially if you are working with children, or in a community setting. If you are trying to pretend that you don't have it, I think you miss the point of OT. The right to be differently abled without being 'disabled' that is OT.

I was unsure if this was directed to me or not. I don't have CP, but do have other medical conditions. I agree with you, but unfortunately the majority of rehab folks around here do not. So, I do the best I can with the situation. I know other rehab therapists who also have medical conditions and they face the same issues even though they are physically capable of doing the job.

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judbay in Albuquerque, New Mexico

29 months ago

anna in Eugene, Oregon said: your CP is an asset, especially if you are working with children, or in a community setting. If you are trying to pretend that you don't have it, I think you miss the point of OT. The right to be differently abled without being 'disabled' that is OT.

Before you mention it, I am aware of ADA. There are issues with enforcing it with employment. It's much easier to enforce it with physical barriers. I've spoken to different folks in my community with different disabilites (government's term), and they pretty much tell me the same thing regarding enforcing it's employment provision-it's very difficult to enforce.

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Princess AOP in New York, New York

29 months ago

Hello How are you...Im currently considering the OT career as well...Im currently a Social Worker for the city and Im ready for a change....Im starting to looking for vol. work to apply to a program being that I work full time I may have to work weekends to earn 200 hours....Where did you attend school for OT...Im in the NY area as well...

OT dude in Brooklyn, New York said: I think that one can be naive when considering a career change, thinking that your new career is going to be a fairytale. The truth is that all professions get boring and monotone after sometime. Do you think that an accountant or a computer programmer doesn't have this dilemma? I find that there is a lot of flexibility in OT as if you want to make a lot of money, you can work per diem, home care, etc and work 60 hours a week if you want and make a very descent living. If you get burned out and are tired, try working for the Board of Education where the hours are good, you get all school days off, spring break, christmas, etc, not to mention summers oFF! YOu work for 1 1/2 if you want to work in the summer. Otherwise, take off and become a school aged explorer again. I don't see what the complaints are about! Is there a perfect job out there that has no negatives at all? I see the janitor in my building every morning and he gives me a smile and I smile back.

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Ash in Detroit, Michigan

28 months ago

Liss in Owendale, Michigan said: I am a junior at a university in Michigan. Minor in psychology and going for a minor in Spanish. Considering a minor in Chinese . Would these minors increase my chances of getting hired? & If so, would the pay be higher than an OT without these language minors? Would these minors only help in parts of the U.S. where these languages are spoken? I have no clue! Thank you all for the help*

Hey Liss,

I just began research into OT and PT and trying to figure out if either of these fields would be right for me. I recently finished my BA in studio art and graphic design at Oakland University and am realizing art should have stayed my hobby :/

Anyway, how do you like the program at U of M? I looked into going there when I was looking for my BS but they wouldn't accept like, any of my credits from my associates degree at Oakland Community College.

What is the program like? Is it a 4 year? I wonder if I could skip past the pre-req part, given I have my AD & BS. I know U of M is a wonderful school already and I love the campus, so I don't need to be sold on that. Just curious as to how long the degree takes and how the program is.

Thanks for any info!

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Ron Caraway in Salem, Missouri

28 months ago

I'm nearly 50, and have only an high school diploma. I have worked in office automation and IT for nearly 30 years, but have considered medically related careers at different times.

My only medical experience/training currently consists of First Responder courses as a volunteer firefighter.

I do enjoy people, and "fixing" things that are broken, so to speak. So, for me, this would be a more personal transition (I'm aware it's not quite that simple, but I would still be doing something I enjoy.).

I know there would be challenges, but can someone provide some specifics as to what I might face, or need to do in order to become an OT?

Anyone that has had a similar experience, and what obstacles you may have faced?

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OT chic in Louisville, Kentucky

24 months ago

OT dude in Brooklyn, New York said: I think that one can be naive when considering a career change, thinking that your new career is going to be a fairytale. The truth is that all professions get boring and monotone after sometime. Do you think that an accountant or a computer programmer doesn't have this dilemma? I find that there is a lot of flexibility in OT as if you want to make a lot of money, you can work per diem, home care, etc and work 60 hours a week if you want and make a very descent living. If you get burned out and are tired, try working for the Board of Education where the hours are good, you get all school days off, spring break, christmas, etc, not to mention summers oFF! YOu work for 1 1/2 if you want to work in the summer. Otherwise, take off and become a school aged explorer again. I don't see what the complaints are about! Is there a perfect job out there that has no negatives at all? I see the janitor in my building every morning and he gives me a smile and I smile back.

Hi OT dude. I'm interested in doing contract work in NYC. Have any advice on being part of a traveling med agency and will I get paid as much if I do contract work? I graduate in 2015 and am very excited about my options, but want to get paid as much time and work I've put in. Thanks!

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OT chic in Louisville, Kentucky

24 months ago

SPenn2 in Queens, New York said: Your comments have been really helpful. Thank You.

Hi there, I'm interested in doing contract work in NYC. Have any advice on being part of a traveling med agency and will I get paid as much if I do contract work? I graduate in 2015 and am very excited about my options, but want to get paid as much time and work I've put in. Thanks! I like acute rehab and I currently work at a hospital in Louisville, however as a student I dont get paid as much which is fine, but its helping me realize I'm not sure if I like the hospital setting. I kind of like outpatient stuff, but inpatient stuff has its place too. I'm not sure yet if I could commit to living in NYC, but I would like to consider contract assignments since I'm not married with kids yet. What are your thoughts? THANKS!

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A_H_1983 in Los Angeles, California

24 months ago

I've been reading this board. Thank you for all of the good advice.

I wanted to write in with my own question.

I live in Los Angeles and am in the hopes of a good 9 - 5. Admittedly, my goals are to find a 9 - 5 that doesn't require much take-home work and one that doesn't bore me to tears.

I currently work as an administrative assistant in an office, find the work mundane and the pay is barely enough for me to cover my rent.

OT interests me because it looks like a nice way to help out people, but mostly because it looks like it's in high demand, has a creative element to it, isn't sitting in front of a computer all day, is easy to find work and one that I could have a good work-life balance in and a much better quality of life than the one I have now.

I don't have experience in the medical industry, but I'm not afraid of going back to school. I graduated with a 3.7 GPA and an English degree, so I'd have to start out with the pre-requisites before I signed up for a school.

I'm looking at CSU Dominguez Hills, mostly because it's cheaper than USC and I would have to take out student loans to go back to school.

I was writing to see if anyone knows of a way that I could shadow an OT in Los Angeles? Perhaps a place where I could volunteer so that I could be around OT's, talk to them and see what their work looks like?

Thank you.

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JAC11 in Ontario, California

23 months ago

I was recently accepted to a pricey private school in CA for OT. This program will cost around 100k, plus the 30k that I have from undergrad. To practicing OTs out there/ current students...is this type of debt worth investing in??

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OT123 in Los Angeles, California

23 months ago

is that 100K just for tuition? Or does that 100K include all the living/student expenses you will accrue? Do you have any alternatives for funding instead of just loans?

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JAC11 in Ontario, California

23 months ago

Yes, the 100k includes the living/student expenses that I will accrue during school (hopefully). No, I have no other alternatives for funding. Unless I get a repayment program with a job after grad school.

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OT123 in Los Angeles, California

23 months ago

Personally, I would follow the "don't borrow more than what your salary will be rule." And even then, I would be wary of borrowing that much. Especially now that grad students no longer have subsidized loans. And yes, estimates of the first year's salary vary a lot from one website to another, but you can get a feel for a plausible range.

However, that is just my opinion. Some factors that can play into making debt repayment easier/harder: moving back in with your parents for awhile after graduation, whether or not you have a family to also take care of, the specialization you want to go into, etc.

If you go to financial aid/loan repayment calculators online, you can add up the numbers and figure out what you may be paying every month when you graduate. They give you a general range to follow if you want to be able to pay off your loans and also "live comfortably".

I know someone who graduated from Dominican, and she thinks her monthly loan payments are a huge burden (and she only took out loans for tuition since her husband was able to pay living expenses).

It's a hard (and scary) decision. Good luck!

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judbay in Rio Rancho, New Mexico

23 months ago

JAC11 in Ontario, California said: Yes, the 100k includes the living/student expenses that I will accrue during school (hopefully). No, I have no other alternatives for funding. Unless I get a repayment program with a job after grad school.

I would try to go to a public university, if one is available and you are a resident of that state. In my area, geriatrics, there is a lot of rumbling going on with cutting payments to providers. When I entered OT school in the late 1990s, the market was good, but while in school they passed the balance budget act and that made the market go really south by the time I graduated. You never know what Congress will do with Medicare payments. So, I would try to go to a public school if it's an option so your debt load won't be so much. Due to the balance budget act, when I got out of school per hour salaries for OTRs was $18/hour (now, of couse, it's come back).

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OT65 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

23 months ago

May in Demarest, New Jersey said: Hi everyone. I'm a junior in college right now thinking about OT. At first, I wanted to be a PA but I concluded that it wasn't for me and I think OT is more suited because you seem to connect to the patients more and that's what I want. I've taken all my prereqs for PA and now considering OT, I need to take more classes for prereqs but I don't have time next year to do that because I can't choose my classes next year because as health science major in my university, we have to take required classes. So I might have to stay an extra year in school.

But anyway, my problem is, I can't find much information about OT and if I do, they all say the same thing.

I would just like to know the opinions of OTs in their field. Please tell me not only the good aspects of the job but also the bad aspects. For example, does lifting people pose as a problem? Do OTs clean up diapers all the time like nurses? Is it worth all the stress of schooling? I would really prefer some personal details on this. Thank you for your help.

Hello, I am an OT for over 22 years! I have worked silled nursing, home health, psyche, acute care, inpatient rehab, outpatient peds and hands. It is very difficult to get an outpatient job as a new grad without experience. Also, outpatient census can drop and then they flex you off unless you are lucky enough to be salaried! Many hospital based clinics are hourly and flex you off when no patients to see.
Even if salaried can be asked to take time off when slow in outpatient clinics. Many outpatient facilities now hiring part time so they can accomodate the hours to meet patient needs.
The big need will be in skilled nursing facilities and home health as the population ages. Also growing need for pediatrics especially with the autistic and spectrum kids.
I work with this population a little bit and if I had to do it fulltime would burn out fast!

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OT65 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

23 months ago

OT65 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida said: Hello, I am an OT for over 22 years! I have worked silled nursing, home health, psyche, acute care, inpatient rehab, outpatient peds and hands. It is very difficult to get an outpatient job as a new grad without experience. Also, outpatient census can drop and then they flex you off unless you are lucky enough to be salaried! Many hospital based clinics are hourly and flex you off when no patients to see.
Even if salaried can be asked to take time off when slow in outpatient clinics. Many outpatient facilities now hiring part time so they can accomodate the hours to meet patient needs.
The big need will be in skilled nursing facilities and home health as the population ages. Also growing need for pediatrics especially with the autistic and spectrum kids.
I work with this population a little bit and if I had to do it fulltime would burn out fast!

I would definitely recommend observing in rehab, skilled nursing and peds facilities and see if you like what you see. You will not get rich as an OT unless you work more than one job and many, many hours. It can be very physically demanding. Also, can do well in management although PTs tend to land these jobs. If you liek outpatient clinics go for PT. More need for outpatient in PT clinics. Just look in the want ads and you will see! Also, PT gets a Doctorate OT a masters and the programs are about the same amount of time.

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OT65 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

23 months ago

If you enjoy assisting and teaching clients self care skills and you are creative then you will make a great OT! Toileting skills, bathing, grooming, dressing are a big part of OT for kids and adults although with kids will also do fun things to gain strength and visual/motor/writing/coordination skills!

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JAC11 in Ontario, California

22 months ago

Thank you all for your insight, I really appreciate it:)

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OT2Be in Los Angeles, California

21 months ago

A_H_1983 in Los Angeles, California said: I've been reading this board. Thank you for all of the good advice.

I wanted to write in with my own question.

I live in Los Angeles and am in the hopes of a good 9 - 5. Admittedly, my goals are to find a 9 - 5 that doesn't require much take-home work and one that doesn't bore me to tears.

I currently work as an administrative assistant in an office, find the work mundane and the pay is barely enough for me to cover my rent.

OT interests me because it looks like a nice way to help out people, but mostly because it looks like it's in high demand, has a creative element to it, isn't sitting in front of a computer all day, is easy to find work and one that I could have a good work-life balance in and a much better quality of life than the one I have now.

I don't have experience in the medical industry, but I'm not afraid of going back to school. I graduated with a 3.7 GPA and an English degree, so I'd have to start out with the pre-requisites before I signed up for a school.

A_H_1983...have you found a facility to observe yet? I, too is looking for a place to observe coz unfortunately, most facilities won't allow observers :(

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OT graduate in Alameda, California

21 months ago

I recently became an OT after passing the boards on my first attempt. I am applying for the California license... How long does it take to get licensed in California?

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Churchburger in Winnipeg, Manitoba

18 months ago

OT dude in Brooklyn, New York said: I think that one can be naive when considering a career change, thinking that your new career is going to be a fairytale. The truth is that all professions get boring and monotone after sometime. Do you think that an accountant or a computer programmer doesn't have this dilemma? I find that there is a lot of flexibility in OT as if you want to make a lot of money, you can work per diem, home care, etc and work 60 hours a week if you want and make a very descent living. If you get burned out and are tired, try working for the Board of Education where the hours are good, you get all school days off, spring break, christmas, etc, not to mention summers oFF! YOu work for 1 1/2 if you want to work in the summer. Otherwise, take off and become a school aged explorer again. I don't see what the complaints are about! Is there a perfect job out there that has no negatives at all? I see the janitor in my building every morning and he gives me a smile and I smile back.

Hey OTDude,

I am also an OT dude living in Canada, but want to live in NYC as an OT. I have visited New York City in the past and am interested in living there. What is the best way to find/look for a job? I am currently finishing my final placement, and am able to work this August.

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Sandra M Kristal in Jersey City, New Jersey

18 months ago

Hi, and thanks for all the information. In answer to the question "best and worse parts" of being an OT I would suggest that all PTs give UP and let us take over. I spent 10+ YEARS in med school and I know more in my distant memory than a picky PT does. Frankly the worst thing about being an OT with a brain is working with PTs. Just go REHAB and that's it. All I know is that the other half walk around. This is real life guys. Go out, see what's happening. relate to YOUR group and find out all you can about them before you get shot like a sitting duck. There are many great PTs there. But HELLO there are a LOT of great OTs who have more cajones and pluck than the PTs ever did. Just my opinion.

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mfpony@gmail.com in Albuquerque, New Mexico

17 months ago

OTA schools--which are good? I've decided to change careers and am looking at OTA programs. I am in New Mexico. Does anyone have an opinion about the ENMU program in Roswell, the WNMU in Silver City, and/or the program in Pueblo, CO?

I would also consider relocating...I saw good things on this forum about some TX schools.

I do want to get the best education possible BUT I will not qualify for loans and have to finance this myself. Thoughts, advice? Thanks!

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judbay in Albuquerque, New Mexico

17 months ago

There is a new program in Albuquerque through Brown Mackie. They've been around a few years, but I don't know the quality...only that most graduates I've seen have the basics, but don't always have the practical decision making (which makes sense and is what I would expect for entry level skills). For some reason, I've also seen their students not know how to control edema by Coban. In terms of the best education, I would go for controlling costs of the education. A lot of stuff is learned on the job and you never know what changes will happen in the field in terms of job availability, though it's been good since the therapy depression of the early 2000's. I don't know of the other programs you mentioned. Good luck.

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ready2grow in Jacksonville, Florida

16 months ago

What is the educational/training path?

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JKin US in Sandiego, California

14 months ago

how much Salary i can ask in a private pediatric clinic in San diego, CA. I have a two years of experience as an OT.

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chm1 in Alfred Station, New York

14 months ago

Hello,

I am a senior clinical/counseling major with a concentration in child psychology. I have recently determined that I am interested in going for my masters in Occupational Therapy, but because I only have one semester left, I have not been able to complete the general requirements. I will be taking Bio 1 in the spring semester, but my school only offers Human anatomy and physiology II and not I this spring semester.
Does anyone know of schools that allow students to combine a pre-OT track with their masters programs? What advice can you give someone in my position who wants to complete a masters program in least amount of time and money spent. I have yet to complete human physiology/anatomy and some other pre requisites.

Thanks

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Keri in San Leandro, California

13 months ago

Hi,

So far this forum has been very useful! Over the past few years I have been debating whether to go into PT or OT. For a few years now my focus has been on PT. I have worked as a PT aide in an outpatient (mostly sports rehab) private practice and loved it. Unfortunately I finished my BA and am a semester away from finishing my masters in Ex. Phys. and I am running out of stamina.

In order to become a PT I would need to take Chem, Physics, and Bio which I just don't know if I can do. Because of this, over the last 6 months I changed my focus to OT. Recently I started doing OT hours at a hospital and I am just not in love with it. Its very rewarding but I don't know if I have the personality to be in an inpatient setting. I am looking for advice because maybe I don't love it because I am doing inpatient as opposed to PT where I was doing outpatient?
Are there as many jobs in private practices doing OT? From my research is seems as if most OT jobs are in hospitals and if this is the case then I am very torn on what path I want to take.

Thanks for your help!

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epiphysis in Bangor, Maine

11 months ago

Sigal in Chicago, Illinois said: Hello. I've decided to change careers and become an OT. My question is concerning which graduate program to go to. I've been accepted to 4 different progams...2 are very prestigious but pricey and 2 are less prestigious and less pricey. Should I go with the most prestigious program or the cheapest one? Will it matter down the road when I'm looking for jobs?

( I went to school in Chicago)
I went to UIC so I'm biased towards them-- they are the in the top five in the nation
Rush is also very good--
I would avoid Chicago State, I've heard some very negative things about that school in general. I've heard they are being investigated for financial aid fraud.

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epiphysis in Bangor, Maine

11 months ago

Sigal in Chicago, Illinois said: Hello. I've decided to change careers and become an OT. My question is concerning which graduate program to go to. I've been accepted to 4 different progams...2 are very prestigious but pricey and 2 are less prestigious and less pricey. Should I go with the most prestigious program or the cheapest one? Will it matter down the road when I'm looking for jobs?

( I went to school in Chicago)
I went to UIC so I'm biased towards them-- they are the in the top five in the nation
Rush is also very good--

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sandyzk12 in Jersey City, New Jersey

11 months ago

bebe in Houston, Texas said: Quick question, is OT predominantly a female profession?

Nope. It is open to all!

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sandyzk12 in Jersey City, New Jersey

11 months ago

*personally I do not respond well to people who are so anal that one wonders which part is used for digestion.

Anyhow all I want to say in my silly long winded way is BE HAPPY AND LOVE WHATEVER you do. The kudos may come later - or not. You may find yourself book learning too much and people studying too little. If the school is good it should allow you to do hands-on supervised OT with a licensed OTR in all areas. Yup I kid you not.

Never will forget the 3 weeks spent in a wheelchair all over campus and dorm being a paraplegic, what I found during my self-wheeling around campus and the local streets which were not wheelchair friendly. Frankly the streets hated everyone, but thats just the way I write. Keep your cool. Your talents and abilities and communication skills (multilingual is great, you can curse and nobody notices (Joke!!) and every 4 years or so LEAVE and learn another trade or skill! Be excellent in all that you can and you will never regret being a chameleon!

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sandyzk12 in Jersey City, New Jersey

11 months ago

I am wondering where part 1 of my reply went! That is the END of my answer. &*T^&

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Atticus Finch in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

8 months ago

yankee_ellen in Plano, Texas said: I am 56 yrs old and wanting to re-career to become an OT. I am in the process of taking my pre-requisites. I will be about 60 when I graduate from the masters program. Can someone provide any insight as to whether they think that I will encounter age discrimination in applying for a job at 60 and the current job market for entry -level OT.

Thanks in advance for your help.

In a heavily populated place with plenty of OT schools and applicants (foriegn and domestic) you will be doing home health unless you have a specialized training like CHT, edema etc. Although I am a fit the x and y gen supervisors look at me with amusement during the interview like "why would she want to work a job like this anyway at her age?" I actually got a refusal letter after an interview recently that said they did no believe I could keep up with the "fast pace of acute care". I am sure the younger applicants do not receive such statements on their refusal letters. A remote location if you wanted to live in one would be easier to land a job given lower competitiion.

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Kay in Jersey City, New Jersey

8 months ago

Sandra M Kristal in Jersey City, New Jersey said: Hi, and thanks for all the information. In answer to the question "best and worse parts" of being an OT I would suggest that all PTs give UP and let us take over. I spent 10+ YEARS in med school and I know more in my distant memory than a picky PT does. Frankly the worst thing about being an OT with a brain is working with PTs. Just go REHAB and that's it. All I know is that the other half walk around. This is real life guys. Go out, see what's happening. relate to YOUR group and find out all you can about them before you get shot like a sitting duck. There are many great PTs there. But HELLO there are a LOT of great OTs who have more cajones and pluck than the PTs ever did. Just my opinion.
Hello. Where did you attend school? Would you consider OTA?

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ggarcia in El Paso, Texas

1 month ago

Quick question! Since it is said that it will be required to have a bachelors in OT do you guys think there will be changes in settings? Such as community based, home health or independent contractor. Also, will there be changes in the bridge program?

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kite in Albuquerque, New Mexico

1 month ago

ggarcia in El Paso, Texas said: Quick question! Since it is said that it will be required to have a bachelors in OT do you guys think there will be changes in settings? Such as community based, home health or independent contractor. Also, will there be changes in the bridge program?

I'm a bit confused. At least a bachelor's degree for the Occupational Therapist level has been required for over a decade. I graduated 14 years ago, and don't interact a lot with students, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's gone to a Master's degree level since PT increased their education requirements. One thing I've learned is that things are almost impossible to predict...and if it makes sense, it doesn't happen. If it doesn't make sense, then it happens. So, I just go with the flow and be the best person and OTR I can be. Doesn't really answer your question, I know, but it's the best one I have.

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HappyOtter in Kyle, Texas

19 days ago

ggarcia in El Paso, Texas said: Quick question! Since it is said that it will be required to have a bachelors in OT do you guys think there will be changes in settings? Such as community based, home health or independent contractor. Also, will there be changes in the bridge program?

You need a master's degree to practice in Texas, unless you were grandfathered in with your bachelor's degree. It's been that way for at least 10 years now.

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Davey in Austin, Texas

19 days ago

OTR is a Masters degree, and will soon be a PhD by 2024. This means you will have to be enrolled in an OT program no later than 2017 to avoid the PhD requirement.

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kite in Albuquerque, New Mexico

18 days ago

HappyOtter in Kyle, Texas said: You need a master's degree to practice in Texas, unless you were grandfathered in with your bachelor's degree. It's been that way for at least 10 years now.

I graduated in Texas with an entry Master's Degree in 1999. I recall around that time there was a lot of talk about how it was switching from a bachelor's degree to a Master's degree requirement in Texas, but when I entered my Master's Degree program it was still a bachelor's degree requirement. So, I knew that it went to a Master's Degree in Texas, but I didn't know when or if it was going to a Doctorate level. I knew though, that the poster from TX mentioning that OT is just now becoming a bachelors degree was wrong.

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