What is an Occupational Therapist?
Occupational therapists (OTs) are health care professionals who 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 may also 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.
Occupational Therapists typically do the following:
- Observe patients doing tasks and review medical history.
- Use observations and history to evaluate condition and needs.
- Create a treatment plan that includes activities and goals.
- Demonstrate movements/activities that can help improve daily or work activities.
- Evaluate home/workplace and make recommendations that will support health needs.
- Master’s level degree program
- Apply through OTCAS plus supplemental program applications
- Not all accredited OT programs may participate in OTCAS. Make sure to check with your programs of interest to see if they participate in this service.
- Typically 2 years (6-7 consecutive semesters)
- GRE required for most programs
- Healthcare/patient experience required before admission
- Three institutions in Georgia:
- Augusta University
- Brenau University (campuses in Gainesville and North Atlanta-Norcross)
- Gainesville: Day Program- 7 semester weekday program; very little time for outside employment, but a more traditional format
- North Atlanta/Norcross: 2 options of either a hybrid weekend program (9 semesters which allow for weekday flexibility for employment) or a hybrid day program (7 semesters with limited time for outside employment, but more flexibility regarding weekday work hours).
- Georgia State University
What Should I Major In?
Your major really does not matter, as long as you successfully complete the courses required for admission into your preferred OT program. Indeed, it is important that select a major in a field that you are most passionate about.
The following majors are among those that provide a practical route to PT school:
- B.S. Ed. Exercise and Sport Science (College of Education)
- B.S.H.P. Health Promotion (College of Public Health)
- BSFCS Human Development and Family Science (College of Family and Consumer Sciences)
- BS Biology (Franklin College of Arts and Sciences)
- BS Psychology (Franklin College of Arts and Sciences)
- B.S.A. Biological Science (College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences)
Contact Information for Georgia OT Programs
- Augusta University: firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-721-3641
- Brenau University: email@example.com or 678-707-5001
- Georgia State University: firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-413-1155