Occupational Therapy Schools in New Hampshire - NH
By Mat Lindenberg, allied health world contributing writer
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Steps to Become an Occupational Therapist in New Hampshire
If you want to become an occupational therapist in New Hampshire, you've picked a good time. Demand is already pretty high- and is set explode in the future, as the population continues to age.
You're probably anxious to start working towards getting your license, but the first thing you should do is try and find a way to job shadow a licensed Occupational Therapist. It does take some time to enter into this career path, and though there are a lot of opportunities to branch out at nearly every step of the way, you should make sure it's something you're truly interested in.
First off, you'll need to earn a bachelors degree in a relevant field. Many prospective OT's choose psychology, or health and wellness, as their degree of focus, but provided you're taking lots of human health and sciences classes, you have some flexibility. You'll want to take any internship opportunity you can, and try and build positive relationships with any instructors or allied health professionals you work with, as their letters of recommendation could go a long away when you begin applying to Occupational Therapy Masters programs.
Luckily, New Hampshire occupational therapy schools offer master’s degree programs, and there are also a handful of online schools operating in the area. If these schools don't work for you, and need to head out of state to continue your education, there are also grants and organizations that might be able to help with some of the costs of relocating.
You can expect the masters program to be pretty intensive. Occupational Therapists perform a very wide range of duties, interact with patients with all sorts of different disorders and conditions, and so are expected to know a lot about a great many topics. You'll also spend a lot of time interning, or working in a clinic. Some programs contain up to 6 months of the curriculum on on-the-job clinical training.
After you've graduated, with your masters degree, you'll need to take the NCBOT, a nationally certifying exam that must be passed by all prospective Occupational Therapists if they want to work anywhere in the US. It costs $500 to take, can be taken multiple times with little penalty, and is made up of both multiple choice questions, and examples of situations you may run into, where you'll need to describe in detail what you would do.
When you've passed the NCBOT, you can apply for your license, from the New Hampshire Occupational Therapy Governing Board. You'll need to fill out the application packet, pay a processing and licensing fee, provide proof of identity, and have your transcripts and NCBOT scores sent in independently.
Once you've been approved, your name will be added to the register, and you'll be able to work in New Hampshire as a fully fledged Occupational Therapist.