This website was developed and is maintained by the North Central Wisconsin Area Health Education Center.

Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapists use therapeutic activities and programs to help individuals with disabling conditions to regain their abilities in the home and work environment. Occupational therapists help individuals learn the necessary skills to live an independent and productive lifestyle.

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Work Activities/Environment
Most occupational therapists work in hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, adult day care programs and home health agencies. A small number of occupational therapists are in private practice. Therapists work with patients suffering from physical, emotional, psychological or a developmental disabling condition. They prepare activities to help patients learn or re-learn how to conduct daily activities, while also increasing the patientís strength and coordination. Individuals may need assistance with daily living activities such as dressing or preparing a meal or help regaining skills for work activities such as using a computer or operating machinery. Occupational therapists also chart their patientsí activities and progress to provide ongoing evaluations, and to report to physicians. Occupational therapists usually work in rooms equipped with machines, and other devices that assist in a patientís recovery. Because of the activities and work involved, occupational therapists are on their feet a lot during a regular work day. If they are working for a home health agency, occupational therapists must travel between appointments and have the ability to adapt to various environments.

Academic/Special Requirements
High school students should study biology, chemistry, physics, health, art, and social sciences. Students must complete at least a bachelorís degree in occupational therapy. Six months of clinical internship is required in addition to course work on physical, biological, behavioral sciences and the application of occupational therapy theory and skills. Upon completion of their undergraduate degree from an accredited program, students must pass an examination from the American Occupational Therapy Certification Board. Successful completion will result in the title of registered occupational therapist (OTR).

Educational Institutions
Carroll University
Concordia University
Mount Mary College
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
University of Wisconsin - Madison
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Pre-Professional Programs
Carthage College/Washington University, St. Louis
Carroll University/University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Lawrence University
University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh
University of Wisconsin - Madison
University of Wisconsin - Platteville
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
University of Wisconsin - Superior

Average $51,690

Professional Organizations
American Occupational Therapy Association
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD, 20814-3449
301/652-6611 or 800/729-2682

American Occupational Therapy Foundation
4720 Montgomery Lane
Bethesda, MD, 20814
240/292-1079 or 800/729-2682

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT)
12 South Summit Ave., Suite 100
Gaithersburg, MD, 20877-4150

Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association
N83 W13410 Leon Rd.
Menomonee Falls, WI, 53051

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