Department of Occupational Therapy
In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
Occupational Therapy services typically include:
- An individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals
- Customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals
- An outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan
Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team.
To further explore the many roles of occupational therapists helping clients live life to its fullest, please visit the AOTA website.
*American Occupational Therapy Association. Retrieved June 27, 2012, from www.aota.org/consumers
When you graduate, you will be eligible to take the National Board Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam, and become state licensed to practice as a registered occupational therapist.
This dual degree BS/MS professional program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The professional phase of the program starts in the fall of each year, with full-time day classes for three years, and one semester of full-time clinical rotations. Our graduates are employed in several states and various settings: hospitals, outpatient clinics, schools, community settings, and private practice. They work in public, local, state, and federal institutions as staff therapists, managers, consultants and supervisors. The job market is excellent, and our graduates often have a choice of jobs (The Job Outlook for Occupational Therapy).
The Nature of the Work
Occupational therapists use selected activities to help individuals become self-reliant, and build a balanced life style of work and leisure. In a partnership with clients, occupational therapists may work individually, or in conjunction with members of healthcare teams (which may include physicians, vocational counselors, nurses, social workers, speech pathologists, physical therapists, teachers, and others).
Occupational therapists work in hospitals, clinics, schools, rehabilitation centers, home care programs, private practice, community health centers, nursing homes, and day care centers. Occupational therapists are licensed by New York State through the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Occupational therapists are registered by NBCOT. This licensure and registration (OTR/L) allows occupational therapists to carry professional and administrative responsibilities for occupational therapy clinical programs and services. They are responsible for evaluating clients, deciding upon program goals, working with clients to implement goals, and evaluating progress. In addition, OTR’s educate practitioners entering the field and are involved in research.
For further information about the different areas of practice for OT's, please see link (Areas of Practice).