Occupational Therapy Schools Texas
All over the country, there is a drastic need for people in the healthcare field to help out wherever possible. No matter how big or small of an impact theses workers have, they are always dedicated to getting people back on their feet and living life to the fullest. If you want to help literally get people back on their feet and living to their fullest potential, occupational therapy could be for you.
Occupational therapy is widely becoming a very important service that is helping people all over America. If you are looking for one of the fastest growing and impressive areas to get your education in the OT field, look no further than Texas. Quickly becoming one of the fastest growing hubs for medicine, Texas has a school and course for everyone looking to help others through occupational therapy.
Before we help you understand what to look for in an OT education, we’ll first take a look at why it is such an important and growing medical field. Once we understand what it is, we will look at what it takes to become and occupational therapist and what to look for in your choice of learning institution. Hopefully by the end of this article you will understand what it takes to get into the OT field in Texas and get your moneys worth.
The Importance of Occupational Therapy
Despite its relatively understated presence in the medical sector, occupational therapy is an essential component of medical practice that rarely gets its deserved attention. People of all backgrounds and needs find themselves in positions where OT can make all the difference in their quality of life. Occupational therapists can do things to help get patients back on their feet and living the way they want to without needing a single needle or medication to do so.
The general field of OT has been around for many years as it adapts and changes to suit the needs of changing demographics. If you suffered an injury on the job, an occupational therapist can help develop a plan of action to get you back on the job and back to your daily routine in no time. They are specially trained to help get people back to their planned life course with counseling and physical help when needed.
Without dedicated and committed occupational therapists in Texas, many people would not be able to live life to the fullest after facing injuries or accidents. These helpers are especially essential in the lives of children facing disabilities. OT can get young children ready for dealing with life situations and schooling better than almost anyone else. It is the children and recovering patients who need OT the most and would be much better of with their help than just another medication.
How you become an occupational therapist
With a basic understanding of what an occupational therapist does, finding out how to become one is the next logical step. In Texas, the medical industry is seeing a general increase in size and popularity as the need for medical workers increases. For those looking to become and occupational therapist, this only helps you by giving you more options and choice in your education.
With every state, there is a different system and requirements for getting and medical license. To obtain your Texas OT license, you will have to complete your education through a ACOTE affiliated school. What this accreditation is for is to say that the degree you have earned is in compliance with the needs and requirements of the Texas medical system. Luckily for students in Texas, there are many excellent school choices that offer this program with their OT curriculum.
Once you have your school selected, they will offer various programs for various levels of study which we will look into later. Since everyone comes to the OT track with a little bit of variety in their education, the programs are designed to take in a number of different applicants looking for different levels of education. Getting your education and experience at a Texas learning institution will prepare you for any number of OT jobs in the future and will get your career off to a great start.
Important Occupational Therapy School factors
Now that we know the importance of OT in Texas and how you can make a difference with it, let’s look at some important factors that any student must consider when picking their school. Everyone has different needs and preferences, so picking a school that fits your needs will have you learning more efficiently and with better results. To help you make your school decision, we have gathered some of the most important points to keep in mind when picking your school.
Just like any other form of higher education, there are certain requirements that are essential to getting into a good OT program. A combination of difficult course work and a serious level of commitment cause most medically based courses to have somewhat intense requirements to make sure they are only admitting students who they feel are going to put in the work to do well.
When looking at the general requirements for an OT education in Texas, many schools use similar criteria for deciding who to take into their program. Some common elements that seem to be present throughout the state are a GPA of at least 3.0, some experience work to graduate with, and some other courses that students should take before reaching the upper stages of the program.
Getting into one of these programs can be a challenge, but a dedicated student who really wants a seat can get it done. If you are unsure about specific requirements, reach out to the university you are looking to be admitted to for a more detailed list of requirements they like to see from candidates. Even the most competitive programs are open to help you out and want to see you succeed with them.
As we mentioned above, the programs on offer to teach OT to students are generally pretty competitive and do not accept very many students. Because of this, the class size of an OT group at any given college or school can be one of the smallest classes on campus. One reason for this is because the course work involves a very hands-on and engaging experiences that are not very compatible with large class sizes.
Larger classes in Texas can accommodate upwards of 145 students while smaller institutions can only effectively teach around 20 students. There is no need to panic because of this small class size, but you should consider your own personal desires when picking your preferable school. A smaller class will be much more intimate and personal while a larger class will allow you a little more flexibility when choosing your classmates and study groups.
One thing to remember about college in general is that many of your classes will be larger than your class size would lead you to believe. Even if your OT program has just 40 members, you could be in general education classes with a few hundred people as every student needs to take those courses. When it comes to the classes that are required for your OT certification, they will be much more personal.
Something that not many new college students remember to think about when signing up for classes is the length of their course. When you get put on an OT track starting from undergraduate education, there are already specific classes and orders that you are supposed to take classes in. When considering when you want to graduate, you need to see how long the course length is for your program to get a gauge of when you can expect to graduate.
Where the course length confusion begins for many students is when they see the options offered by schools. If you are just getting into college, you can expect to have at minimum five years of courses to graduate with a bachelors and master’s degree in OT. IF you are just getting your masters certificate, you can expect a closer to two-year course load assuming you already have a bachelor’s degree.
The nice thing about medical programs like OT at most colleges is they will have a very structured system for getting you to graduate on time. Many colleges in Texas even offer programs that help accelerate your overall progress by doing a combined undergraduate and master’s program that allows you to shorten the amount of time getting certified. There’s programs are designed to save you time and money so you can start working before others would normally graduate.
One of the minor considerations that may or may not have an effect on your learning experience is the location of your school. This can be a very important factor for different people with different reasoning. If you are just heading to school for the first time, you will really need to think about where you are going. Finding a location where you will be happy to spend the next five or so years is imperative to your motivation and happiness when learning.
Since you are going into the medical field, looking at the local hospital and OT center options is also critical. Knowing that there are places to go and get experience and hours at will help you greatly in graduating with plentiful experience and a potential job lined up before you graduate. Make sure that you do your research on the surrounding cities and towns near the campus for a better feel of how you will fit in.
For those who plan to commute to college, look at the traffic in the area of your school to see how your commutes will look. Traffic in some university areas can be especially brutal if they are near any major cities and accounting for fuel costs is also an important consideration.
Choosing your program
Now that we have a decent understanding of what to look for an expect with varying OT programs, lets take a closer look at the two primary offerings out there. While you can go and get your doctoral OT degree, that is a path that takes serious time and commitment to get involved with. The two primary options for students are combines BS/MS programs and masters level programs.
The most common option for an OT certified course is the BS/MS option. This is where you spend at least five years getting both your undergraduate and master’s degree’s in OT. Why this is so beneficial is because you are essentially saving an extra year of education that you would have to complete if you wanted the degree’s separately. For entering college student looking to go from college into the OT field, this is easily the beast and most cost-effective option.
For the student who already has their bachelor’s degree, there are still great options available. Going for just your master’s opens up many doors to OT instruction. You can go to nearly any Texas program you want and come away with your master’s degree and a OT certificate within two years. Having this flexibility means that you can pick and choose the school that best fits your requirements for an OT program without having to worry about getting your bachelor’s degree as well.
Congratulations! You are now one step closer to stepping into the shoes of a licensed occupations therapist where you will directly impact the lives of many. Taking the time to understand everything that comes with the OT field and applying to the relevant Texas programs will have you enjoying the college life and working towards a great cause at the same time.
Whether you are still in high school or are looking for the perfect master’s program, we hope this guide will act as a reference for your decision. Just remember to take your time and pursue the program where you feel most at home.