General Admissions & OTCAS OT in the Military

Discussion in 'Occupational Therapy [ O.T.D ]' started by ColorGuardLove, 09.22.14.

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  1. ColorGuardLove

    ColorGuardLove

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    Is anyone else interested in serving in the military as an OT?

    I am currently in the Army National Guard in a job that doesn't relate to OT, but once I eventually earn my MOT, I am thinking about trying to become an OT in the military.

    I've been doing a lot of research, specifically about the Army OT program, and it seems like a really great idea. I was just wondering if there is anyone else out there interested in serving in the military as an OT as well, whether it's Army or another branch!
     
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  3. alliecatt

    alliecatt

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    YES!!! Thanks for starting this thread. I am looking into it as well, specifically to help with the hefty costs of graduate programs. I am interested in speaking to a recruiter but I feel like I should focus on actually getting accepted into a program first. I'm not really familiar with the specifics of the different branches. Would you recommend the Army?
     
  4. ColorGuardLove

    ColorGuardLove

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    Haha no problem! I would probably wait to speak to a recruiter until you're in a program; I plan on waiting too since I'm not even applying until 2016 cycle. I honestly don't know if the Army would be able to help you cover anything for your MOT. I'll get a little help just because I'm already in the NG and get some benefits from that, but that's about it. I do know, however, that once you have your MOT and pass the exam, as long as you have a 3.0 overall (undergrad plus grad) GPA, you can apply for their program. You would have to attend a Basic Officer Leadership Course. You would then be taking OT classes for 18 months through a special program the Army has with Baylor University in which you would earn a completely paid-for doctorate while you also make full-time salary. You would then be an officer (O3, Captain) and serve active duty for 3.5 years with 30 days paid vacation a year.

    I honestly don't know too much about the other branches. I'm mainly interested in the Army because it is most familiar to me and seems to have a great program! I've enjoyed being in the Army, personally. I feel like it is the right branch for me. Maybe it would be for you, too, or even the Air Force or Navy would be good for you too. You'd have to see what seems best to you!
     
  5. alliecatt

    alliecatt

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    Thanks for the info!! That's really helpful. I was actually looking at the health professions scholarship program. Is that what you're referring to or is that something entirely different?
     
  6. ColorGuardLove

    ColorGuardLove

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    No problem!!

    I was referring to something totally different. I don't know what that scholarship is; do you have any info on it?
     
  7. alliecatt

    alliecatt

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    I haven't actually looked at it recently. I was looking into it last year when I was considering applying for programs and deciding how I was going to pay for it. I just got this from the air force website...

    "Health Professions Scholarship Program offers scholarships for healthcare professionals to include: one- and two-year for Biomedical Science Corps specialties (Pharmacists, Optometrists, Clinical Psychologists and Public Health Officers), two- and three-year for Nurse Corps specialties and three- and four-year for Medical Corps and Dental Corps. This scholarship covers all tuition and required fees, including textbooks, small equipment items and supplies needed for study. You will also receive a monthly allowance for living expenses. While on scholarship, you will spend 45 days on active duty in the Air Force, and once you graduate, you will serve active duty (one year for each year of scholarship, with a minimum of three years)."

    As I mentioned, its been a while since I first stumbled upon this program, but I am almost certain that occupational therapy and physical therapy were explicitly included in that list. I am wondering if they are encompassed by "public health officer" or if the program is no longer offered for PT and OT. I also recall the different branches offering similar opportunities, but I don't see occupational therapy listed anymore on any of them. If you google "HPSP occupational therapy" there is some info that comes up from secondary sources like college websites but none actually from the military (except the army that discusses the program you mentioned).

    Sorry this is so long. If I end up talking to a recruiter (although it might not be anytime soon), I will let you know if this program still exists!
     
  8. ColorGuardLove

    ColorGuardLove

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    Haha ok, sounds good! Yeah like I said, I don't know about OT too much for the other branches, but personally for me if I decide to do it then it's Army all the way!! :)
     
  9. OTbroFromCO

    OTbroFromCO

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    http://armyotguy.com/armyOTguy.com/Welcome.html

    Check this site out, it has a ton on info on Army OT. I am super interested in becoming a military OT after grad school. As for a scholarship for MOT school... nonexistent as of yet based on what I've read .

    Let us know what happens with the recruiter!

    Edit: It appears that the Navy does offer assistance for OT grad students... But I doubt many get the upper end of funding they claim on the website.

    http://www.navy.com/careers/healthcare/clinical-care/occupational-therapy.html
     
    Last edited: 09.24.14
  10. ColorGuardLove

    ColorGuardLove

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    Well there's people who do serve as OT's so obviously it's at least somewhat of a possibility, it just might be a very slim possibility! Even if it doesn't work out for me to do OT in the military, I can still be an OT while serving in another field of the military. Having Army experience to begin with certainly wouldn't hurt my chances, at least. I'm happy to be in the Army regardless!
     
  11. alliecatt

    alliecatt

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    This is somewhat random (and possibly unreliable), but I thought I would mention that I heard from a former coworker that she knows someone who works as an OTR at Tripler Army Medical Center, but she is contracted through the hospital. I understood this to mean that she is actually an OTR who works for an agency or privately, rather than an actual staff member of Tripler. I was kind of surprised that the hospital would outsource for that position, considering there are clearly people who want to pursue a career specifically as OTRs in the military. Apparently this is quite common in various aspects of the health care field (nursing, rehab/therapy, etc.), at least in Hawaii. Again, just want to reiterate that this not a fact that I actually verified with Tripler, just something I have heard through the grapevine.
     
  12. ColorGuardLove

    ColorGuardLove

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    I've heard of stuff like that too. The military is also trying to downsize, though, so I can't say I'd be surprised!
     
  13. OTbroFromCO

    OTbroFromCO

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    Your campus is?

    And how recently have you spoken with a recruiter? It's hard to get info on this kind of stuff... The army OT guy website isn't exactly up to date, and there's not exactly a forum for Army OTs.
     
    Last edited: 09.25.14
  14. OTbroFromCO

    OTbroFromCO

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    No joke... That's really kind of a bummer. Was this for the entire military or just a specific branch?
     
  15. gialuan

    gialuan 7+ Year Member

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    There are two routes you can go: Active Duty and the Reserve. I have looked into the Reserves because it allows you to stay at home and maintain a civilian full-time job. To serve in the Reserves, you have to work one weekend a month plus two weeks out of the year. I haven't spoken in depth with a recruiter about this, but those are the options.
     
  16. ColorGuardLove

    ColorGuardLove

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    I'm currently in the National Guard in a non-OT related job, and it's not a bad deal at all. I'd love to be able to do active duty OT at some point, but I would also do Reserve OT if it was all I could get. If you receive anymore info about Reserve OT, please let me know!
     
  17. OTStudentSept2014

    OTStudentSept2014

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    I shadowed at a military base hospital. It sounds like there is no OT loan repayment for your masters degree. Instead they pay for you to get your OTD/Ph.D immediately upon enlistment. Only then do you get to go into practice. There are very few military OT's. They use OTR's for evaluations/reassessments, then have enlisted medical techs, who may or may not have any OT-specific training, for the actual treatment sessions. In addition, most of the OT's working at military facilities are civiliams. However, one cool thing about being an OT while deployed overseas is that you get to do a wider variety of medical tasks than would normally be in the scope of OTs.
     
  18. ColorGuardLove

    ColorGuardLove

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    Personally I already knew that there was not student loan repayment for OT. I didn't even get loan repayment for my bachelor degree (I had it before enlisting, so I didn't get any of it covered like I would've had I not had a degree yet). Of course, I was not after loan repayment when I joined, anyways.

    I'm also not sure where you got the "Officers make much less money" and "massive crushing debt" from. In the rank that you would be as an OT, you would make at least as much if not more than a civilian OT would. Not to mention the housing allowance and extra money you would make for your dependents, as well as buying everything tax-free at the PX/commissary. Oh, and insurance coverage for you and your family. So basically, almost everything you make can just be pocketed. Also, becoming an OT in the military wouldn't condemn you to "a massive crushing debt" anymore than a civilian who attended a $100k+ school and got a civilian job. Without having to pay for housing and insurance and stuff like that, you could pay off even the highest grad school debt within 10 years (but probably even less).

    Not to mention, the military lifestyle is pretty awesome.
     
    Last edited: 10.16.14
  19. ColorGuardLove

    ColorGuardLove

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    I'm not saying that that's not true; I know there are very few positions. I'm just saying that the lucky ones that are able to be in for OT are just as well off as any other officer who has their same rank. Supply and demand does not affect the OTs and their pay and benefits while they are actually in. So yes, it would be extremely difficult to get in and be an OT, and I doubt you would get any kind of signing bonus. However, if you do manage to pull it off and get in, you will have a pretty sweet deal going for yourself.
     
  20. ColorGuardLove

    ColorGuardLove

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    I don't know why you keep saying the same thing--no one has disagreed with the fact that there are very few positions.
     
  21. weaver84

    weaver84 2+ Year Member

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    Hey, just thought it'd be helpful to share this! It's actually *not* entirely impossible to get a job with the V.A. I've been tracking OT job availability within the VA for about 4 years, to have a good idea of what the job market is like within the VA. There are always 10-20 jobs cycling(13 now!), available nationwide if you're willing to move! They aren't all in B.F.E. either, just today's search returned openings in D.C., Nashville, San Francisco, etc. It is a numbers game, but there have consistently been openings; it hasn't been "1-2 ot positions in the entire country per each year." The USA.gov job board has shown otherwise. If you're willing to move, land that first VA job anywhere, get a few years under your belt and then transfer within. You'll already have priority points added to your app since you'll have a history. Also, to note: you get more priority points if you've served actual military/guard time. Or, get a job at a clinic/hospital/etc. and keep applying to the VA while you're gaining experience. Who cares if you have to work 2-4 years in a place that's not your dream setting, when you'll eventually nail the interview that lands your dream job for the next 30 years? Persistence and patience, it will happen!!

    The website you need to stay updated on is: https://www.usajobs.gov/Search?keyw...Location=&AutoCompleteSelected=&search=Search

    Don't give up! If a military environment is where you thrive, be open to moving and go for it!!
     
  22. ColorGuardLove

    ColorGuardLove

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    Thanks for the info! :)
     
  23. MOT student5

    MOT student5

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    Hello, I am an MOT student, starting this fall. I am interested in military medicine. Do you have any advice to how to decide which branch to pursue? Is it better to do the loan-repayment option for graduate school? If I am interested in research, is the army the best option?
     
  24. beestrng

    beestrng edgy 5+ Year Member

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    Pretty sure the Army would be the only place offering it. Baylor is affiliated with the Army OTD stuff. Not sure if there are any opening for OT atm.

    Are you talking about medicine or OT?
     
  25. MOT student5

    MOT student5

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    Thanks for the response, I saw the info about OTD opportunities and may apply to that after my MOT. I was just curious about whether there are other opportunities within the Navy, I know the HSCP programs are extremely competitive, so I was debating applying for 2017 reserves
     
  26. beestrng

    beestrng edgy 5+ Year Member

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    Couple of years ago when i inquired to my regional recruiter there was 2 slots available. Probably one or none available now. Best chance would be army imho.
     
  27. HUOT3

    HUOT3 2+ Year Member

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    As of September 2015 the Army no longer offers the DScOT program to OT's going into the Army. They still have the program, however you will most likely have to serve a couple years as an OT in the Army before they offer you the opportunity to embark in the DScOT program. Incentives such as loan repayment are offered, I'm not sure how much though.
     
    beestrng and Bokonomy like this.

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