Other OT-Related Information Considering a career as an OT; higher power detoured my path?!

Aug 22, 2017
8
0
Status
Pre-Physical Therapy
Dear all:

I would like for you to enlighten me about the OT profession if you have the time and willing to do so. I learned about being an OT via a hospital stay my younger brother had who is wheelchair and bedridden; he has CP, a trach, and a feeding tube. He was very ill and a young gal came to assess him. I addressed her as Dr., she replied she was an OTR and I thought that was great how she assisted my brother. Additionally, I live in IL, 30 miles south of Chicago.

About me: I have a BS in accounting from a private institution based in Chicago class of 2010. Moreover, I recently lost my job, the house I purchased, and moved back home @ 33 years old with 60k of student loan debt for that undergrad degree. I have interviewed for the past 5 months and cannot land a job even with the experience in accounting I possess. I'm taking this as a sign that this field may not be for me. Therefore, I am looking into the OT profession as a second career. Why OT as a career? Well, I enjoy helping my brother combat his disabilities and watch him improve some. Plus, being able to treat someone pre and post illness is an amazing feat. Additionally, I am fluent in oral and written Spanish; so, I am capable of aiding more individuals.

Kindly opine on the inquiries I have below. Thank you!

1. Are males the minority in OT?
2. How stressful is being an OT? Does the facility care more about production or patient care?
3. Is there job security and are most OTs happy/fulfilled with their career?
4. MOT the entry-level degree offered? I am not interested in a doctorate at the moment.
 
Last edited:

sngot

2+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2015
134
60
Status
Occupational Therapist
1. Males are the minority in OT (think nursing and teaching but to a greater degree) but the profession is even less well known over all.

2. OT is very flexible and it varys on what you make of it. Some commit to full time positions. Some will take several part time, per diem positions. Different settings have different stress: hospital, clinic, schools, home health, skilled nursing facilities. Many places will have productivity demand that therapist have to meet on a daily basis. Some do not like school OT does not have daily productive demand but the caseload has to be met- children can be see weekly, monthly, or consult as needed. It truly varies from job to job.

3. Job security is there- you will have jobs. The question is how picky are you. What are you willing to do and what aren't you willing to do? Traveling therapist is a big thing now. Places hire therapists only when the demand is high, contract lasting several months at a time. I think some will see OT very fulfilling, some will see it as simply as a job. This depends on whether you like OT or not as well. Like you mentioned, it is rewarding to treat pre and post illness but several different professions can do that. I personally love OT for what it is.

4. MOT is acceptable. That is fine for the next 10 years. It is official that schools are required to transition to doctorate degrees by 2027. That will not matter for existing practitioners.
 
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c2902

5+ Year Member
Mar 20, 2013
228
121
Status
Occupational Therapist
1. Are males the minority in OT? *Yes, and in terms of applying to programs, simply being a male will help; of course, you have to have the grades, but believe me, male OTs are a rare and coveted breed.
2. How stressful is being an OT? Does the facility care more about production or patient care? *Depends on what you consider stressful, and it also depends on what setting you work in. With regard to productivity vs patient care, that also depends, but unfortunately, in this healthcare climate, productivity is generally going to be pushed as a little more important, because healthcare is a business, even in a non-profit organization, and insurance company reimbursements continue to shrink. The exception would be the school districts where productivity is an entirely different animal. But being an OT requires a lot of physical, mental and emotional energy, and depending on the setting and client base, can be very draining. That said, it's a very rewarding career.
3. Is there job security and are most OTs happy/fulfilled with their career? *I'd love to say there is job security; I think in all likelihood, there will be, however who really knows what all of the changes coming to healthcare reimbursements with the current administration.
4. MOT the entry-level degree offered? I am not interested in a doctorate at the moment.*Yes, though by 2027, the OTD will be the required entry-level degree. Lots of reasons why this is stupid, but not going to get into that here.
 

old noob

2+ Year Member
Sep 26, 2017
33
31
Status
Pre-Occupational Therapy
I'm investigating becoming an OT as well, at 40 years of age. Second career, come at me bro!

From a few weeks of research, if you graduated with a bachelor's in an unrelated field:

1. There will be approximately 15-29 credits of pre-requisites to take. (Alternatively, OTA requires less pre-reqs, and ROI with time and tuition is pretty good in short term time frames.)
2. Cost for a MOT seems to be approximately 40-100K+ depending on in-state/out-state and varying school tuitions. (plus pre-req costs)
3. It will take 2.5 years. (plus pre-req time investment)

As an aside, losing a job/unemployment is typically considered a high stress situation (as well as other circumstances you mentioned) from which it is difficult to rise up. Keep your chin up! This tidbit is something I learned this while studying abnormal psychology, sociology, and other classes in preparation for pre-reqs... free... via the web available from Youtube, Khan, and Carnegie Melon Institute.

While I have been self employed, opposed to unemployed, it has been a depressing downward slope as the profitability in the market in which I work has been waning for many years since Facebook killed organic reach. Plotting the new endeavor, an escape from the status quo, and even studying has been re-invigorating. It has proven to make me feel capable, that things are possible. Maybe it can do the same for you. Huzzah!
 
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