Occupational Therapy Schools in Iowa
Regardless of where a potential student lives or where she wants to start her higher education, there will be more options than one person can hope to explore. Of course, there will be certain traits, qualities and characteristics that a student will use to narrow the search. If the search for a therapy school should lead a student to Iowa, she will find that there are 27 occupational therapy schools in the state. From this group, she should be able to find more than one school to meet her needs. Once the school is chosen, the journey to become a practicing therapist has only just begun.
In the state of Iowa, there are certain criteria that must be met before a person is allowed to practice occupational therapy in the state. The goal is to earn a master's degree in occupational therapy. With this in mind, students should focus there undergraduate studies in areas of social sciences and biology. Sociology, biology, psychology, physical therapy and anthropology are all good places to start. If undergraduate degrees are not strong in the aforementioned sciences then students will be required to take a series of prerequisite courses before continuing their path to becoming a therapist.
Once the undergraduate degree is earned and all prerequisite courses have been completed, students are ready to begin working on a master's degree. In Iowa, Master's of Occupational Therapy programs focus on the behavioral and physical aspects of occupational therapy. This is why an undergraduate program heavy in behavioral and physical sciences is so important. The graduate program is filled with opportunities for students to work in the field with actual patients. Once the master's program is completed, graduates are required by the state of Iowa to put in six months gaining practical experience before they are allowed to take the certification examination. This time is spent working under the watchful eye of a licensed occupational therapist while working in an accredited facility.
The certification exam is commonly referred to as NBCOT. The National Board on Certification for Occupational Therapy is responsible for establishing criteria for certification and licensing throughout the U.S. Once all preceding steps are completed, the board will send a student a letter (ATT) authorizing that student to take the certification test. If the student schedules the test date and passes the exam he or she can register for licensure from the Iowa Board of Physical & Occupational Therapy Examiners. Students who fail the test are allowed to take it again. Also, these students can apply for a temporary licensure until they have an opportunity to retake the examination.
Once students have earned their license, they can begin to really appreciate the attractions of Iowa, located in the heartland of America. The state is heavily invested in agriculture (and called the corn state by some) and has numerous museums marking its agricultural roots. Other museums recognize other areas of Iowa heritage, such as the Kate Shelley Railroad Museum and the Hobo Museum in Britt. Iowa is a great place to start a career and a family and explore at the same time.