The Occupational Therapy Profession
Occupational Therapy is a health profession focused on enabling people across the lifespan to engage in activities that are meaningful to them through the therapeutic use of everyday activities "occupations" including: self-care, social participation, education, work, plan, and leisure activity.
There are two types of occupational therapy practitioner: the Occupational Therapist (OT) and the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA). Occupational Therapy Assistants are health care professionals who work under the direction and supervision of a registered Occupational Therapist. The Occupational Therapy Assistant provides procedures and treatment interventions that focus on adapting the environment, modifying the task, teaching the skill, and educating the patient and family members to improve the overall functioning of their clients. They instruct individuals and groups, contribute to evaluation and assessment, and communicate reports of patient progress to the health care team.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at JSCC combines general education, lectures, laboratory classes and fieldwork experience that enable students to master the skills needed to function in occupational therapy positions. Fieldwork affiliates include hospitals, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing centers, schools, community centers, and home health agencies. The program is rigorous and demanding. Students must be committed and self-disciplined if they are to succeed. The effort is worth it; occupational therapy is a rewarding and exciting career.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is designed for the student who does not intend to transfer to a baccalaureate degree program.
The occupational therapy assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is www.acoteonline.org. Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, all states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.
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Program results from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) can be found online at https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx
Pending Accreditation Status: Graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination for the Occupational Therapy Assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA).
Tennessee requires licensure to practice as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. All applicants for Tennessee licensure must pass the NBCOT certification examination, in addition to other requirements. A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure. If students have questions or concerns regarding criminal history and employment eligibility, please contact the Tennessee Board of Occupational Therapy at (615) 532-3202 or (800) 778-4123, or NBCOT at Phone: (301) 990-7979
For further questions or concerns regarding ACOTE, the following address is available:
c/o Accreditation Department
American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, STE 200
Bethesda, MD 20814
For further questions regarding NBCOT:
Phone: (301) 990-7979
Fax: (301) 869-8492
12 South Summit Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20877