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Discussion in 'Occupational Therapy [ O.T.D ]' started by Sloth, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Sloth

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    I started out interested in PT school, but the PTCAS is screwing me over, the only reason my GPA is what it is, is because of retakes on classes. Well the PTCAS you need to submit for PT school averages ALL grades from your transcripts, that = me screwed! I checked, and all the PT schools here in AZ require the PTCAS application.

    My next choice will be OT. I am not seeing anything like the PTCAS on OT schools sites. Is there something like that for the OT programs you all went to? Or do they just look at the final grade of the pre-req's / degree you recieve, not counting in old grades from retakes?

    Also on a side note, is 45k the usual average STARTING salary for OT? I know it's based a lot on setting and location but, I'm willing to move, so I would like to just know if that's the avg starting. Also, how fast can you expect an increase in salary? As well as, how do OT make extra dough?
     
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  3. OTlg2

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    Yes there is something called the otcas, and I have heard that certain applicants have had some technical difficulties with the system. The good news is that many schools don't use it. I honestly don't know which ones do, you will have to find that out as you look into programs but none of the 5 that I plan on applying to use the system.

    As for salary you are correct that it depends greatly on what setting you work in and where you live. I have a friend who just started out as an OT in Florida a month or so ago and he started out at 60,000 a year. I also know certain OTs who have been working for years in the field and are only now starting to make 60,000 because they only have bachelors or associates degrees and technically never became licensed but were grandfathered into the field because of their experience. You now need a masters and a license and with those two things (based on the OTs I have shadowed, volunteered for, and talked to personally) you make about 3000-5000 per year less than a PT in the same setting. Potential for promotion also depends on the setting you work in as some OTs make overtime due to being paid by the hour and a have met a few who work in more than one setting to earn some extra money.
    You will learn more about how much you would make once you decide on a specialty/setting.
     
  4. Sloth

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    I'm glad to hear most schools don't use the OTCAS. I don't think it's right to judge a student on there past if they've retaken and proven there academics second time through.

    Thanks for the info on the salary, Yea I heard some OT are employed at home health agencies and do a few visits a week on top of there clinical job. At my home health agencie I work for we pay OT 95 for an eval and 55 for a follow up and most the OT here work full time for a clinic/hostpial and do 4 HH visits a week. 4x55-taxes=175x4weeks=700 a month extra for only 20 extra hours of work a month.

    What are the most abundent settings for OT? What's the most saught after? Where is the MOST / LEAST money at? What are different specialties you can go into? How do you get into specialties?
     
  5. Shelby029

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    hmm..I don't know that I'd go for OT over PT for the reasons you have stated. PTs and OTs are colleagues and interact often. You wouldn't want to be staring at a PT wishing you were doing what he was doing.

    The OT schools I've checked out don't use the OTCAS, but most schools have different ways of calculating GPA with retakes. Some average, some take the higher, ect.

    As for the salary it is comparable to PT. There are more PTs out there meaning more managers which bumps up their salaries that you see on sites like BLS. If there is a difference in an area it wouldn't be worth choosing one career over another.

    Most money SNF. Least pediatrics because that is what most OTs are drawn too. The different specialties are mostly the same as PT with slight variance. Here is a website of what AOTA categorizes as the common settings http://aota.org/Practitioners/PracticeAreas.aspx
    I feel like PT has more typical settings but OT has more options since it does incorporate the whole lifestyle of a person as well as cognition with the physical aspect. Something you might be interested in if you like the more physical rehab aspect is hand therapy.

    And specializing is the same as PT I believe. Your a generalist out of school and can work your way into a niche after so much experience.

    OT is great, I started out with PT in mind then switched to OT. I'd shadow a bit in different areas though cause it is not for everyone. Best of luck!
     
  6. gymnastau

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    Here are some numbers that are estimates from some research I did last year.

    -There are about 115 entry level master's programs. Give or take a few. All schools have their own requirements both in preres, observation requirements, essays, interviews and so on.

    -Approximately 65 schools are using the OTCAS right now. That number is a blend of programs: Master's, OTD, BA to Masters and so on.
     
  7. Sloth

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    Working with hands and cognition seems a lot more interesting than knees and hips. The only two places I can go to school is Arizona, and northern Nevada.
     
  8. Whistle Pig

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    Update these:
    1. There are about 150 accredited programs of which 5 are currently OTD programs. All the rest are masters degree programs. There are a handful of additional programs-in-waiting for accreditation visits over the next few years.

    2. About 65 are using the OTCAS application process, including most of the higher ranked programs.

    3. Clearly using this process has its advantages and disadvantages, the primary one being that it allows candidates to apply to numerous programs without significant personal engagement. In turn this can and apparently has resulted in programs not receiving all candidate information in a timely fashion, and without genuine student follow-up ... well it results in unfortunate scenarios like the ones noted here. Placing blame might be a matter of POV, I suppose. Frankly, I'm impressed at how few problems there seem to have been in the year #1 shake-down cruise. And there is no question it saves candidates monumental mountains of administrivia.

    4. While time will tell, with applications sky-rocketing and funding sources tightening belts, I'd anticipate OTCAS will become an increasingly attractive option for competitive programs, just like it has become the norm for virtually all selective undergrad programs.
     
  9. Califaith21

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    Well said.

    As for following up is there a general rule of thumb? How long should one wait to follow up with the universities they've applied to after completing the OTCAS application.

    Does anyone know how long OTCAS been in use?
     
  10. gymnastau

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    I followed up with an email the morning after I submitted an OTCAS app. I emailed the program contact and informed them I had submitted through the OTCAS and to let me know if they had any issues receiving the app or wanted any further materials.

    The OTCAS debuted in August 2010.
     
  11. Califaith21

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    Did you have any issues with OTCAS? Did the schools get back to you if they didn't receive something?
     
  12. lizzo76

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    Just to add - you cannot assume that just because a school isn't using OTCAS they will calculate your GPA the way you want them to. At my undergrad, you could retake courses, but the new grade did not replace the old grade - they were all added into the GPA.

    Based on my application to other grad school programs in the past, I can say that there is a strong likelihood that some schools will calculate GPA by averaging all grades, as long as they have access to all grades, especially in cases where retakes were not taken at the institution in which the course was originally taken.

    My personal opinion - even having some crappy earlier grades due to partying too much - is that you shouldn't be able to completely erase history. There are plenty of people who didn't need to take a course a second time in order to get a good grade, and that even includes people going through serious problems at the time. You should not be viewed as exactly the same, grade-wise, as that other person, regardless of why you did poorly to begin with. You should be able to retake a course to prove that you can actually do the work, but your old grade should still factor in.

    I also don't believe that you should pick an occupation based on what you think will accept you. And, I don't mean to be rude, but Sloth, is English your first language? If not, no problem, your English is quite good for a non-native speaker. If so - you make a lot of spelling errors which are a cause for concern and make me think, if you're a native speaker, that you're not a top notch candidate for OT or PT.
     
    #11 lizzo76, Aug 8, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011

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