Occupational Therapy Career Outlook

Occupational Therapists are certainly getting their share of the spotlight these days. These health care professionals are vital members of the rehabilitation team who work with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations to facilitate health, well-being and justice through engagement in occupation (Townsend & Polatajko, 2007). Occupational therapists are becoming increasingly involved in addressing the impact of social, political and environmental factors that contribute to exclusion and occupational deprivation (White, 2000).

It has been identified by CNN.Money as one of the Best Jobs in America for 2010 based on Money and Payscale rankings, garnering the 19th slot. It has also been featured by HubPages America as one of the Top 20 Best Career Choices for 2020, ranking at No.3.

The links to the above online articles can be accessed through the links in the references.


CNN.Money. (2010). Best Jobs in America. Retrieved October 24, 2010 from website http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bestjobs/2010/snapshots/19.html

Inglish, P. HubPages America. Top 20 Best Career Choices for 2020. Retrieved on October 24, 2010 from website http://hubpages.com/hub/Top-20-Career-Choices-for-2010

Occupational Deprivation: Global Challenge in the New Millennium, Whiteford (2000), British Journal of Occupational Therapy Volume 63, Number 5, pp. 200-204(5)

Townsend, Elizabeth A. and Helene J Polatajko. (2007). Enabling Occupation II: Advancing an Occupational Therapy Vision for Health, Well-Being & Justice Through Occupation. Ottawa: CAOT Publications ACE. ISBN 978-1-895437-76-8

Free Workshop with Shinette Alinas

Here’s a public service announcement for our colleagues in the Visayas region:

One of our Licensed Occupational Therapists currently working for Integra Rehab in Georgia is coming back to the Philippines next month for a vacation. We have invited her to conduct a talk and a little workshop for the OT community in Cebu. We would like to extend the invitation as well all interested Cebu based therapists (PT and OT). Here are the details of the said event:

Date: October 23, 2009 (Friday)
Time: 5:30PM
Venue: 2nd Flr. Diamond Hall, Golden Peak Hotel
Speaker: Shinette Alinas, OTR

1. What Shinette went through in order to qualify for a job in the US (IOTED application, NBCOT exam, NBCOT certificate, interview with Integra, POEA, etc) – 30 minutes
2. Shinette’s experience about being an OT in the US – 30 Minutes
3. Clinical workshop where Shinette can pass on a clinical skill to participants (wheelchair positioning..etc) – 30 minutes

This talk is open to everyone, and is FREE of charge. You may bring your OT/PT friends as well. We will just need your text confirmation so we can reserve seats for you, your students and your friends. You may send us your text confirmation at (63)9189090834. Just indicate your name for our records.

~ From Wawel Mercado

Filing the Visa Screen Certificate for Foreign-Trained Occupational Therapists in the United States

This news is for foreign-trained Occupational Therapists in the United States who are working on converting their H1-B visas (work visa) to permanent resident status (greencard).

According to Immspec.com (U.S. Immigration Forms Processing Service for Foreign Nurses and Pharmacists), a company that describes itself as “an in-house immigration administration support specialist”, the Visa Screening program is described as follows:

Visa screening program verifies that the education of an alien healthcare worker seeking job in the United States is equivalent to that of his/her US educated counter part

An overview of visa screen certification:

U.S. immigration law now requires that healthcare professionals (except physicians) qualified outside the United States complete a screening program in order to qualify for certain US working visas. VisaScreen™, also known as Visa Credentials Assessment, enables healthcare workers to meet this requirement by verifying and evaluating their credentials to ensure compliance with the government’s minimum eligibility standards.

VisaScreen™ program is administrated by the International Commission on Healthcare Professions (ICHP), which is a division of CGFNS (Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools). Candidates who successfully complete this program receive a VisaScreen™ Certificate. This certification authenticates that the foreign national’s education, license, training, and experience are comparable to that of a US healthcare professional.

Visa screen certificate can be presented to a consulate office, or in the case of Adjustment of Status, the Attorney General, as part of application process of an occupational visa. The visa screening program normally involves licensure verification, educational credentialing, English language proficiency testing (TOEFL, TSE, TWE), and a predictive exam (CGFNS Certificate).

The healthcare professionals who are required to obtain a VisaScreen™ Certificate before they can get an immigrant visa or permanent residence (“green card”) include occupational therapists, physical therapists, nurses, speech-language pathologists, medical technicians (or clinical laboratory technicians), medical technologists (or clinical laboratory scientists), and physician assistants. With respect to the green card process, the VisaScreen Certificate is not required for an employer to file an I-140 immigrant petition on behalf of a foreign national to sponsor them for lawful permanent residence (i.e. green card). However, once the I-140 immigrant petition is approved, the beneficiary and foreign national must obtain the VisaScreen Certificate before they can be issued an immigrant visa.

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Dementia Care Professional of the Year

Dementia Care Professionals of America (DCPA), a division of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is now accepting nominations for the Dementia Care Professional of the Year Award. Quoted below are the guidelines.

DCPA will award “Dementia Care Professional of the Year” to one individual each year who has demonstrated true professional excellence in care, compassionate performance above and beyond expectations, and a dedicated commitment to individuals with dementia. These accomplishments can be recent or accumulated throughout a career of dedicated service.

The professional may be nominated by peers, colleagues, employers, clients or client families. Individuals may be nominated by more than one person, since many people may seek to celebrate an impressive professional. Multiple nominations are welcome, but will not necessarily improve the likelihood of selection.

Nominees must be currently employed in a professional capacity as a provider of care or service to individuals with dementia or their families. Professionals may be from any industry or field of practice (i.e., personal care aides, activities therapists, program directors, support group leaders, administrators).

Continue reading Dementia Care Professional of the Year

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