An occupational therapist can become a director of rehab or program manager, and honestly make some of the best DORs. Our innovative, online curriculum means that you can complete the majority of your studies on your schedule, where it’s convenient for you, while still getting the hands-on training and experience you need. Or perhaps you had a loved one recover from a stroke or some other condition so now you want to help others in a similar way. If you decide to work as a COTA, there is certain amount of autonomy and responsibility that you lose. Additionally, both OTRs and COTAs can go on to become administrators, liaisons, and hold other positions within companies and facilities. But remember, every coin has two sides. Pros and Cons of Each Profession. assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. Regardless of whether you work as an OT or COTA, good communication will be required. When considering how much money you can earn working in occupational therapy, you also have to consider the initial investment of the education. She is passionate about disease prevention and meeting the emotional and physical needs of … PRN occupational therapy: There is a lot to say about it, and because I’ve been a PRN (or per diem) occupational therapist for over five years now, I really wanted to share my PRN experiences (the good AND the bad). Whether near or far, our Online OTA program is for you. Though the majority of clients are gracious and appreciate everything you are doing for them, some are going to be negative about their conditions and need a lot of encouragement. Occupational Therapy Assistants assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. We all enter the field with the intention of helping as many people as possible through our direct interactions. Learn more. As the use of occupational therapy becomes more and more widespread, so too will OTAs find themselves working in an ever-greater variety of places. Also, you need to pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®) examination to be able to practice as a certified OTA. So, here we expound on some of the cons of having a career in home health. Positives. This is due to a variety of factors, including (but not limited to) living in areas with too many OT and COTA programs, fewer settings hiring COTAs (due to needing evaluating therapists), upcoming Medicare changes, and so on. That isn’t necessarily the case. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. In their third semester, Online OTA students participate in an intensive NBCOT Prep Coaching Program featuring a seven-week study plan custom-tailored to their needs, weekly group study sessions, and one-on-one coaching sessions with a licensed OT practitioner. A COTA only has to have an associate’s degree in occupational therapy, while an OT has to hold at least a master’s degree or doctorate. That’s especially significant when you consider that the agency projects that the labor market as a whole will grow just 5% over that same time period. When a client or family member asks a question, having to run every answer through your OT supervisor can be difficult. Being a COTA myself, I am laying out my list of all the pros and cons in this post in hopes it will help you decide if you want to go the COTA route. 1. This gives OTAs significant room for creativity in how they approach and accomplish these goals. However, hands-on learning is also a critical element of your OTA training. St. Catherine University’s Online OTA program, your state’s occupational therapy regulatory body, Skills labs held about once a month on Sundays, Two, three-day Level I Fieldwork sessions, Two, 320-hour Level II Fieldwork sessions. As there is with any job, there are pros and cons to working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). Keep in mind that as part of your Level II Fieldwork, you will spend 320 hours in a physical disabilities setting and another 320 hours in an emerging practice setting. If you subscribe to the notion that variety is the spice of life, then you’ll love the diversity of opportunities afforded by a career in occupational therapy. work, life, and education). You might think of an OTA working in a rehabilitation clinic or hospital, but these healthcare professionals can be found in many other places! If you do not live near one of our learning sites in California, Texas or Virginia, you’ll need to travel to the once-monthly skills labs and Level I Fieldwork. Occupational therapy is one of the most unique health care careers. I can only answer from a pediatric therapy perspective. Hate driving and long commutes? In fact, OTA regularly appears on lists of top-paying jobs that require an associate’s degree. You might not want to take a home health therapy job for this and other reasons. Before heading back to school, consider the pros and cons of an occupational therapy assistant career. In fact, most places they work are unique, too. Some OTAs work weekends, and may even prefer it. l would like assistant in obtaining reading materials and therapeutic equipments and tools since it is challenging to get them here. Occupational therapy assistants work under the guidance of an occupational therapist, who conducts the client evaluation and assessment, then comes up with treatment goals and a big-picture plan for accomplishing them. For example, each state has different continuing education requirements. Not to denigrate their roles and MAs and CNAs do have to pass an exam but the word assistant implies that we are not therapists. As you consider a career as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or SLP, you want to think about the advantages and disadvantages. What Are the Six Occupational Therapy Practice Areas? Her specialties are mental illness, health writing, and complementary modalities. You may have read our previous article where we bragged about how excellent a home health therapy job can be. Just looking at that, it may seem like working as an OTR is the best choice for making money. Ultimately, it comes down to what you want out of a career. Regardless of what OTA program you could, you must pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and register with your state’s occupational therapy regulatory body to be licensed as a Certified OTA (COTA). There are many articles out there that recommend becoming a COTA for those who are thinking about becoming an OT, and then simply transitioning. However, keep in mind that this depends on where you live and what is in your area. It is overall easier in general for occupational therapists to get hired on for a position compared to their COTA counterparts due to the OT being able to do all of paperwork components (evaluations, progress notes, and discharges). Pro: Short training time Most certified nursing assistant programs take between 4 … Thanks to our Online OTA program, it’s possible to earn your Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in OTA in as few as 16–24 months. It’s no secret that many people have never heard of occupational therapy. Additionally, while your fieldwork coordinator will work diligently to find you Level II Fieldwork opportunities near where you live, if nothing can be found in your immediate area, you may be required to commute or even relocate temporarily to complete the required 640 hours of supervised practice. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. If Level II Fieldwork opportunities cannot be found nearby, you may need to relocate temporarily for this final step of your OTA education. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports in its Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition that employment prospects for physical therapy assistants is expected to increase tremendously. This is a factor that has to be considered. The most important thing to remember for a COTA working in a management position is not blurring the line between managing the operations of a facility and dictating the outcomes of evaluations or other decisions. As with many healthcare careers, you can’t begin practicing as an OTA the day you graduate. Still, the majority of the responsibility of handling this will fall to the supervising occupational therapist. Just be aware that it may take students with very limited (or no) college experience longer to complete our program curriculum and thus earn a degree. Without them, occupational therapy services may just be out of reach for many clients. What OT topics are you most interested in? The hands-on portion of our Online OTA program consists of: While that may sound like a lot, it’s important to note that you will only need to travel for once-monthly skills labs and two Level I Fieldwork sessions — something many of our students do. Meanwhile, the COTA is the one handling the routine treatments day in and day out. As we previously discussed, the demand for occupational therapy services has never been greater, yet because occupational therapy is not as well-known as, say, nursing or physical therapy, a lot of people don’t pursue it as a career choice. Learn how your comment data is processed. by Morgan Kurtz, MS, OTR/L. OTAs, like many healthcare support roles, have a lot of options when it comes to their schedule. An OT may only treat their patient for the evaluation, progress note updates, and discharge. You can become a doctor, travel nurse, and occupational therapist. If you have no intentions of moving after school, you’ll want to research opportunities in your area. OTs understand the challenges faced by physical therapy as well as speech therapy, making an excellent middleman. Just be ready to give that elevator speech on “What Is Occupational Therapy?”. To help you make the best choice, we’ll be taking a look at the pros and cons of an occupational therapy assistant career. Unpredictable schedules. I am sharing the pros and cons of choosing occupational therapy … While the American Occupational Therapy Association is a great resource, your admissions advisor can also help you. Related Post: Wherever you live, our Online OTA program isn’t that far away. While being a COTA is a very rewarding job, there has been an increased difficulty for COTAs in many cities to find jobs right out of school. But if you can stomach through it, you’ll leave at the end of the day knowing you’ve made a difference. The OT will make the final decision for the OT department, but the treating COTA most likely knows the case of the patient and details better since they may work with the patient more regularly. Once you begin working in the field of occupational therapy, you most likely are going to stay working in that position. Here are a few of the advantages and drawbacks of working as a CNA. Contractor (Independent Contractor) Outpatient Therapy However, it’s not just the demand that makes this little-known field an attractive career option …. Ultimately, it comes down to what you want out of a career. Of course, demand varies by state. In fact, we’ve had a number of students who chose our program because they wanted to get into this fast-growing field but were tired of sitting on occupational therapist program waitlists. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. When it comes to creating effective treatment plans, COTAs are just as capable in implementing beneficial treatments. If you’re ready to embark on your OTA school journey, give us a call today to learn more about our Online OTA program, or fill out the form to have an admissions counselor call you. Good news! This is a major aspect to understanding how occupational therapy is provided in these settings. While the true reward of being an OTA is going home knowing you are making a difference, you’ll be happy to know that being an occupational therapy assistant can pay quite well. In most companies and states, a certified occupational therapy assistant can also work in this position. St. Catherine University’s online OTA program could have you graduating with an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in just 16 months. Let’s be honest … every job has its upsides and its downsides. Before PPS, people use to say jobs for therapists and assistants would continue to be in great supply and that PPS would never happen. Initially, it might look like an OT is better prepared to handle direct patient treatment than a COTA. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments. It is only reasonable for the patient or family to want to know details about progress and discharge. Though helping people live their best lives is immensely rewarding, it can be emotionally draining at times — something anyone who has worked in healthcare can attest to. You can learn about the ups and downs to being a COTA by continuing to read below. Before you even begin trying to decide where you want to work, you need to decide whether you want  to become an occupational therapist or a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA for short). Not only does a master’s or doctorate degree cost significantly more, but it takes an additional few years to earn it before you enter the workforce. Of course, we all most likely started working in occupational therapy to help others. In most companies and states, a certified occupational therapy assistant can also work in this position. A COTA can even own their own practice. On the other hand, it can be frustrating as a COTA in dealing with patient interactions. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are as essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. For example, in labs, students practice helping clients out of wheelchairs and beds in ways that minimize the risk of hurting themselves in the process. Many times, new graduate occupational therapists may ask the seasoned occupational therapy assistants in their department for advice on specific cases or difficult patients. OTRs earn about $41/hr across the country according to BLS data for 2018 median income. Hello friends, the medical sector many job opportunities. A quick search of OTA jobs reveals a wide variety of full-time and part-time opportunities. Although this is an option, it isn’t typically one that is followed. 4. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. My OT Spot uses cookies to improve your experience. ... Cons of OTA. 9 min read 8.3k views ... but after living in a condensed area with several occupational therapy (OT) schools, I opened my search up to contractor opportunities with apprehension. Apr 11, 2019. This means that a COTA will have to yield to the OT’s final decision making when it comes to treatment plans, discharge processes, and evaluation outcomes. Should I Become an OTA? Self-Care Tips & Strategies for Occupational Therapists and Students, 5 Hand Dexterity Assessments for Occupational Therapists, 12 Perfect Gift Ideas for Occupational Therapists [2020]. However, it may be more difficult for a COTA to get into certain management positions if a bachelor’s or graduate OT degree is required. So while OTAs are not in charge, they aren’t just order-takers, either. I believe pursuing a career as a physical therapy assistant is a very smart decision. I worked as an occupational therapy assistant for 9 months in 2018 and it was such a great job experience. Pros and Cons of Being a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. Before heading back to school, consider the pros and cons of an occupational therapy assistant career. Pros and Cons comparison chart of becoming an OTA. Depending on the client’s needs and situation, you could work with any number of medical disciplines. Nor are OTA jobs confined to Monday through Friday. 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