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How do I Choose the Best School for my Occupational Therapy Education?

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  • Written By: Klaus Strasser
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 17 May 2018
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Choosing the best school for your occupational therapy education can be a critical decision for any prospective occupational therapist, since gaining certification requires the completion of a study program at an accredited institution. Yet as institutions vary in quality, thorough research of the options available to you typically is important. Factors such as the quality of the teaching faculty, the specific courses offered, and the history of the institution for producing occupational therapists typically should be considered when making a choice.

Occupational therapy usually entails treating patients who have problems and limitations with every day common activities. An occupational therapist typically tries to help their patients become active by involving them in work. The diversity of the problems that may be facing a particular patient means that the occupational therapist usually needs to possess a familiarity with a wide variety of diagnoses such as physical, mental, or emotional afflictions. In each case, the occupational therapist usually creates a set of strategies to identify and address the particular difficulty in order to realize the aim of achieving the wellness and health of the patient.

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A quality occupational therapy education typically should offer you a thorough background in the area. Occupational therapists rely on a complex mix of neuroscience, anatomy, and sociology in their evaluation and treatment of their patients. The best schools usually are conscious of this diversity and offer a corresponding program to address the scope of the field. Such programs will offer access not only to occupational therapists, but also to other related fields of study. Looking for schools with an outstanding faculty of teachers and a good track record of producing occupational therapists both can enrich your education and help ensure future success in the field.

The best occupational therapy education typically is one that can prepare you for work in either the academic, clinical, or research environments. Schools with a history of excellence in both research and teaching generally will make your education more complete and well-rounded. If the school offers internships, this also can help you gain valuable experience while helping you to become more sensitive of the obligations an occupational therapist has to their patients.

In the United States and Canada, an occupational therapist seeking a vocation in clinical practice is required to complete a master's degree. Although the length of time that is required for an advanced degree varies by program, a master's usually takes an additional three years to complete. A program that offers the potential for a post-graduate occupational therapy education therefore can be an excellent choice for those interested in such clinical practice.

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