Nursing Education
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Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists use specialized knowledge to help individuals develop, perform, recover and maintain daily living skills and achieve maximum independence. They work with individuals who have conditions that impair them mentally, physically, developmentally, emotionally, or socially.

Their goal is to help clients have independent, productive and satisfying lives. They use a wide range of equipment and techniques to assist patients in activities ranging from dressing themselves, cooking, eating, or even using computers. They often use physical exercises to assist patients improve strength and dexterity, and a range of psychological or emotional programs that improve the patient's mental abilities. Occupational therapists should have the ability to communicate, physical strength to lift patients or equipment, and the mental stamina to endure the stress generated during the long and arduous process of treating each case.

Work Environment:

Occupational therapists may work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, mental health centers, nursing homes, schools, home health agencies, and hospice centers.

High School Preparation:

Individuals considering a profession as an occupational therapist should take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, health, art, algebra, physical science, psychology, sociology, English and computer skills.

College Requirements:

A Masters Degree in occupational therapy is currently the minimum requirement for entry into this field; Students are required to complete six to nine months of clinical practice to obtain a degree in occupational therapy. After completing college requirements, eligible individuals are required to pass a national examination to become licensed. However, all persons entering the occupational therapy program after May 1, 2002 will be required to complete a Masters Degree program.

Students interested in occupational therapy should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

Employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through 2010. The baby boomers generation movement into middle age will increase demand for therapy services. Also, the rapidly growing population of individuals 75 years of age and above will also continue to increase demand for the use of occupational therapy services.





Average Annual Salary

Salary Range

Professional Organizations:

American Occupational Therapist Association
4720 Montgomery Lane
P.O. Box 31220
Bethesda, MD 20824-1220
Phone: (301) 652-2682
Fax: (301) 652-7711

Mississippi State
Department of Health
Division of Special Licensure
P.O. Box 1700
Jackson, MS 39215-1700
Phone: (601) 576-7260
Fax: (601) 576-7267

Mississippi Occupational Therapy Association
P.O. Box 4916
Jackson, MS 39202
Phone: (601) 355-1679

Download our Occupational Therapy brochure here.
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