Occupational TherapyAbout the Profession
Occupational therapy is a health profession that promotes life-long health and well-being of individuals, groups and communities through engagement in occupation. The primary objective embodied within the concept of “occupation” is the practitioner’s use of activities meaningful to the client within their own particular environment. Hence, occupational therapy services are provided within the contexts of activities of daily living, education, work, play, leisure and social participation. Practitioners provide services to individuals to increase their daily function, enhance/support health and development and prevent disability through promotion of effective performance skills within environments and using tasks adapted to meet their individualized abilities and needs.
Practitioners work with persons of all ages and cultural backgrounds whose independence has been impacted by physical and/or mental injury or illness, developmental or learning disabilities, or adverse environmental conditions. Occupational therapy services are provided in a variety of settings including general and psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation centers, intermediate care facilities, nursing homes, individual’s homes, school systems, community centers and agencies, and private practice. Occupational therapists function as clinicians, educators, consultants, researchers and administrators. Services to individuals, families and communities include: evaluation and treatment planning and implementation; assessment of home, work and community environments; training in the use of adaptive equipment; community needs assessment and program planning; and referral to appropriate follow-up services.
History of OT at FAMU
The Division of Occupational Therapy, one of the five Divisions within the School of Allied Health Sciences, was established in 1989. The State of Florida, in its’ 1988-1993 strategic plan, identified as one of its critical problems in the rapidly growing State of Florida the need for an increased number of allied health practitioners. The Division, consistent with the mission of the University and the State of Florida, has conferred more than 200 baccalaureate degrees in occupational therapy. The last class of undergraduate students received their baccalaureate degrees in 2006. The Division has now transitioned to an entry-level master’s degree program from which the first student graduated in 2007.
Philosophy of the Division
We believe that humans are complex and active beings whose development is dependent upon participation in occupations. This participation is context dependent and involves the whole person. Humans continually adapt as they grow. When this adaptation process is interrupted, occupational therapy utilizes occupation to facilitate change and renewal.
The Division of Occupational Therapy believes that occupational therapy is client-centered and occupation based. It is the role of the occupational therapy educators to promote the use of occupation to assist strength, fitness and wellbeing, growth, change, and adaptation to encourage full participation in meaningful occupation that culminates in general safety, security and appropriate quality of life. Occupational therapy is science driven and based upon evidence. Occupations will be utilized to prevent, habilitate, and rehabilitate, through the intervention planning process to allow maximum participation in occupations.
We believe students should develop a solid base of knowledge that facilitates critical thinking, clinical reasoning and problem-solving skills, all of which are essential to transition from student to competent occupational therapy practitioner. Recognizing that all interventions must be focused on client priorities, we emphasize client-centered evaluation and intervention. We believe that human beings grow and develop through occupation to participate fully in life. Participation in occupations is critical to a sense of well being and health.
The curriculum is designed to provide students with an educational experience which focuses on continuous critical thinking in order that occupational therapy students be well prepared to function and thrive in the ever changing contexts and environments of a diverse and multicultural society. This process acknowledges that skills must be achieved and maintained through research in a self-directed independent manner; foundational knowledge is best retained and applied when learned in a meaningful context of occupations. Graduate education must respect the uniqueness of individuals and honor a variety of perspectives, backgrounds and learning styles that enhance the richness of the graduate experience.
How the Program Philosophy Reflects the Current Philosophy of the Profession
The program philosophy has been revised, with input from the program faculty, to more explicitly reflect the current philosophy of the occupational therapy profession. The program faculty believes that the core philosophy of the profession includes the concepts that occupational therapy is occupation based, evidence-based, client-centered, and addresses health and well-being. The revised philosophy of the program explicitly includes these concepts as evidenced by the use of practical opportunities to screen and assess e clients during University Health Fairs and through learning activities with children. The division utilizes such activities as observation, evaluation, splint making opportunities and group projects to disseminate Occupational Therapy information. Community events, such as the Forget Me Not Walk assists to meet the needs of a diverse and multicultural society. Our program embodies these concepts as reflected in the revised philosophy.
The Mission of the Division of Occupational Therapy at Florida A&M University is to:
• Offer students a curriculum designed to create an environment that nurtures intellectual growth and scholarship through interactive and thoughtful discourse, self-directed learning and development of links between faculty and professionals to establish collaborative community partnerships.
• Prepare entry-level occupational therapists equipped with skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to demonstrate excellence with care in all professional practice contexts.
• Prepare entry-level practitioners capable of serving as leaders and contributors in an ever evolving society.
• Promote critical thinking, reasoning and problem-solving skills to further knowledge of occupational science and the efficacy of occupational therapy practice, research and education
• Prepare students to become skilled practitioners who provide occupational therapy services aimed at promoting health and wellness, and at enabling individuals’ meaningful and satisfactory participation in life activities.
• Graduate students who are prepared to embrace life long learning concepts that reflect current theory, evidence-based practice and an understanding of individuals from different racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
The Master of Science Occupational Therapy program is currently on probationary accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). www.acoteonline.org
These agencies are located at:ACOTE, c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449
NBCOT Certification Results
For the three most recent calendar years (2011, 2012, 2013) the performance of the graduates of the occupational therapy program was as follows:
Total number of program graduates 44
Total number of first-time test takers of NBCOT exam 29
Total number of first-time test takers who passed 19
First-time test taker percentage pass rate 66%
Total pass rate for all test-takers 93%%
Most of our graduates are employed as occupational therapists. Recent surveys of employers rate our graduates as good or excellent employees and therapists! https://secure.nbcot.org/data/schoolstats.aspx
Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP)