ProCare Therapy Blog - School Therapy Staffing and Jobs

Category: Occupational Therapy

The primary goal of an occupational therapist in a school setting is to assess a child’s ability to perform meaningful activities and intervene where necessary. Occupational therapists can find a series of articles on this page that will help them develop their careers and also provide them with the latest in industry news and therapy methods.

Therapist Turnover a Growing Concern in Schools

therapist-turnover

Schools across the country are faced with an increased number of students who require one or more forms of therapy within the academic day. Some students need someone to talk to because of stresses and life trauma. Other children may require assistance with fine or gross motor concerns and require the assistance of an occupational or physical therapist. A variety of speech and language concerns mean that kids of all ages may need to work with a speech language pathologist. All of these professionals are needed not only within a school district, but consistently within a building to work with individuals on a regular basis.

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Increase Your Marketability as a School-Based Occupational Therapist

occupational therapy marketability

Overall, the employment outlook for occupational therapists is very positive. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is expected to grow by about 43% over the next eight years. Nursing homes, hospitals, and occupational therapy offices employ the majority of therapists. But some occupational therapists also work in schools. Working as a school-based OT can be an interesting and rewarding setting to pursue your career. If you want to work in a school setting, competition for jobs may be a bit tougher. Jobs as a school-based occupational therapist are often sought after. The good news is there are things you can do to increase your marketability and improve your chances of landing your dream job.

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Swings for Occupational Therapy

occupational therapy swings

The occupational therapy needs of students have changed over the years. In the past, schools had occupational therapists work mostly on fine motor skills. Young students would focus on pincer grasp with their writing utensils. Occupational therapy sessions would also work on how to cut with scissors and proper formation of their letters. These skills continue to be done, but there is a lot more happening in sessions along with the more traditional work. The increasing number of children with sensory processing concerns have meant that school districts have to address this and assist the children to be more successful in their academic lives. Occupational therapists now work with students that have sensory integration needs and more.

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Changes in School-Based Occupational Therapy

changes school based occupational therapy

Shortages in many different school therapy careers have caused children in need to be put on long wait lists to receive services. Schools often have a hard time keeping enough therapists hired to coordinate individual sessions with students. Since this is not new and is a growing concern, many schools and districts are looking for ways to support children with special needs in schools.

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The Changing Role of Occupational Therapy in Schools

school-occupational-therapist

In the past, occupational therapists have worked predominantly with young children to assist them with fine motor skills. They often spent a lot of time in sessions perfecting pincer grasp, writing letters, and other goals for early elementary-aged children. While occupational therapists may still do these with their students, their role has changed drastically in recent years.

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