There are different occupational therapy programs in North Carolina you can consider. Occupational Therapy assists people of all ages in participating in activities that they want or need to do in their lives (i.e., occupations).
Making meals, dressing, managing medications, driving, going to school or work, playing, or caring for others are examples of such activities.
Occupational Therapy addresses a person’s physical, psychological, and cognitive well-being and improves function through participation in daily activities.
Also, Occupational therapy seeks to improve participation and performance in daily activities. Occupational Therapy (OT) Practitioners accomplish this by teaching the person the skills required for the occupation, modifying or changing the occupation itself, and/or adapting the environment to support occupation performance.
Individuals who want to become occupational therapists must first complete an accredited Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program.
Prospective students who live in North Carolina or are interested in attending school there can choose from a variety of programs.
North Carolina has several colleges and universities that offer master’s degree programs in occupational therapy.
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To become an occupational therapist in North Carolina, you must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from an accredited program, six months of work experience under a licensed occupational therapist, pass the North Carolina Jurisprudence exam, the NBCOT (National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy) OTR (Occupational Therapist Registered) exam, and complete continuing education.
These programs typically last two to two and a half years and prepare students to take the National Certification Examination for Occupational Therapists and apply for licensure in the state where they want to work. We will look at a few occupational therapy programs in North Carolina.
Admission Requirements for Occupational Therapy Programs in North Carolina
In order to be considered for master’s degrees in occupational therapy, students must meet the admission requirements of each school to which they apply.
Though the specific admission process varies slightly from school to school, students must meet a general set of requirements in order to apply to these programs.
Students must submit undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement or essay when applying. Students will also be required to submit GRE exam results.
Furthermore, before beginning the occupational therapy program curriculum, students must typically have completed a number of prerequisite courses. Some schools may also require a minimum GPA.
Skills Required to Be an Occupational Therapist
While occupational therapists come from all walks of life, there are a few key skills and qualities that lend themselves well to the nature of the job.
For example, in order to work in the best interests of their patients, these professionals must have a strong sense of compassion and empathy.
Indeed, many occupational therapists are drawn to this field because they want to make a difference in the lives of others.
Aside from a people-oriented mindset, OTs should have a number of skills to be successful in the field. These are some examples:
Communication skills: Occupational therapists must have strong written and verbal communication skills in order to effectively understand their patients’ needs and explain the treatment process.
They must also be able to clearly document treatment plans and progress while collaborating with other healthcare professionals.
Problem Solving: Because no two cases are ever the same, good OTs must have excellent problem-solving skills in order to determine the best course of action for each individual situation.
Patience and flexibility: Occupational therapy is frequently a long road to restoring a patient’s independence. When dealing with the highs and lows of this process, good OTs must be patient and adaptable.
Occupational Therapy Programs in North Carolina
Below are some of the top occupational therapy programs in North Carolina;
- 1. N C Occupational Therapy
The North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association (NCOTA) is the state’s largest professional organization for occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and occupational therapy students.
NCOTA was founded in 1957 and is affiliated with the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). It was later incorporated as a not-for-profit membership organization in 1976.
Contact: +1 919-785-9700
Address: Raleigh, NC 27612, United States
- 2. East Carolina University in Greenville
East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, offers a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program that students can complete in 27 months if they work full-time. Students will complete two semesters of occupational therapy placements in various parts of North Carolina after completing five semesters of coursework.
Students who enroll in this program should be aware that the school does not provide on-campus housing, so they will need to find their own lodging in Greenville or the surrounding area. Students enrolled in the program can join the Student Occupational Therapy Association, or SOTA, which organizes various community events and activities for program students.
Greenville, North Carolina’s East Carolina University is a public research university. It is North Carolina’s fourth largest university.
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East Carolina University, founded on March 8, 1907, as a teacher training school, has expanded from its original 43 acres to nearly 1,600 acres today.
Contact: +1 252-328-6131
Address: E 5th St, Greenville, NC27858, United States
- 3. Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is another school offering a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree.
Students in this program will spend two and a half years completing coursework as well as field placements where they will be able to practice their skills on real patients.
Assistive Technology, Neurological Basis of Occupation, and Therapeutic Interaction are among the courses required to complete the program.
Students who attend this university as undergraduates can also take advantage of the Early Assurance program, which establishes special guidelines for students who want to continue their studies in the occupational therapy program at Winston-Salem State.
Winston-Salem State University, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a historically black public university.
Contact: +1 336-750-2000
Address: 601 S Martin Luther King Jr Dr, Winston-Salem, NC27110, United States
- 4. Lenoir-Rhyne University
Lenoir-Rhyne University, located in Hickory, NC, is another option for students interested in a graduate occupational therapy program.
This school also provides a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program that can be completed in 27 months. Students will take classes and complete two 12-week internships in a real occupational therapy setting during this program.
Tuition fees will be higher at Lenoir-Rhyne because it is a private institution, as opposed to public universities, which prospective students may want to consider.
Furthermore, this university operates its occupational therapy program from two locations: Hickory, NC, and Columbia, SC. Students who apply to the OT program may be offered a spot in either location.
In Hickory, North Carolina, Lenoir-Rhyne University is a private Lutheran university. The university was founded in 1891 and is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s North Carolina Synod.
Contact: +1 828-328-1741
Address: 625 7th Ave NE, Hickory, NC 28601, United States
A final thought on the occupational therapy programs in North Carolina
Occupational therapy is a highly rewarding career that is in high demand as the healthcare landscape evolves. Occupational therapy can be a valuable opportunity for those considering a career in the medical field but are unsure which path to take.
They are all about assisting people in living their lives to the fullest, regardless of their circumstances or who they are.” If you want to make a difference in the lives of others, occupational therapy could be the career for you.
Earning a master’s degree in occupational therapy is the first step toward becoming a registered OT and making a difference. The options for anyone considering a future career in the healthcare industry may appear limitless.
With so many career options, it can be difficult to determine which one best fits your personal and professional goals.
Occupational therapy is one such popular healthcare profession in recent years. Many people are drawn to OT careers and the opportunities they provide to make a positive difference in the lives of others because of the compassionate nature of the work.
OT practice includes the development or restoration of skill or ability that has not yet developed or is impaired, Changing an activity or environment to improve performance and independence, and Assisting in the development of habits and routines that foster a sense of purpose and promote a healthy lifestyle, Improving community participation through skill development, real-world experience, and connections to community-based supports, Teaching and assisting with coping strategies and Communication and social skills training.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Is there an occupational therapy program at UNC Charlotte?
The Department of Allied Health Sciences’ Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy offers two graduate programs: a master of science (M.S.) degree with a major in occupational therapy and a doctor of philosophy (Ph. D.) degree in occupational science.
- How long does it take to get an occupational therapy license in North Carolina?
Requests for applications are typically processed within a week of receipt by the Board office. Licenses are typically issued on Fridays within one (1) to two (2) weeks of the application and receipt of all required documentation by the Board office.
- Is there an occupational therapy program at NC State?
North Carolina has five ACOTE-accredited Occupational Therapy Schools, each of which offers an entry-level master’s degree or a Doctor of Occupational Therapy program.
Furthermore, the state has seven ACOTE-accredited Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Schools that offer an associate degree.
- In North Carolina, how do I become an occupational therapist?
At least 6 months of occupational therapy work experience as part of an internship under the supervision of a licensed Occupational Therapist.
Pass the North Carolina Jurisprudence exam, which can be found here. You must pass a criminal background check. Take and pass the NBCOT OTR exam.