FAQ: Occupational Therapy in AZ

1. What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy is skilled treatment that uses or adapts activity in order to help individuals increase independence in all areas of their lives. Occupational therapy practitioners are skilled professionals whose education includes the study of human anatomy, growth and development including the social, emotional, and physiological effects of illness and injury.Services typically include: Customized treatment programs to improve one's ability to perform daily activities at home and work, evaluations with adaptation recommendations to improve safety and independence, and education to family members and caregivers. A wide variety of people can benefit from occupational therapy, including those with work-related injuries, limitations following a stroke or heart attack, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or other serious chronic conditions, birth injuries, learning problems, or developmental disabilities, mental health or behavioral problems including Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress, problems with substance use or eating disorders, burns, spinal cord injuries, or amputations, broken bones or other injuries from falls, sports injuries, or accidents, vision or cognitive problems.

2. Do I need a license to work as an OT in Arizona?
To practice occupational therapy as an OTR or COTA in Arizona, licensure is mandatory. For additional information regarding licensure, please contact the Arizona Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners at http://www.ot.az.gov

3. Do I need a physician's prescription to provide OT services in AZ?
The current statutes do not require a physician's prescription for OT services to be provided. Reimbursement sources may require a physician's referral.

4. Where can I find Occupational Therapists to fill job openings?
Post a job posting at : http://www.arizota.org/component/option,com_jobline/Itemid,41/task,add/

5. Why should I join the Arizona Occupational Therapy Association (ArizOTA)?
ArizOTA is a professional membership organization dedicated to supporting and enhancing the occupational performance of the residents of Arizona. We support our members' continuing competence; provide avenues of communication about occupational therapy issues, networking, legislative activities, and education of consumers and third party payers as to the benefits of Occupational Therapy. ArizOTA contracts with a legislative lobbyist that assists with many of the activities of the Association. Although ArizOTA relies primarily on membership dues to fund its activities, many of its services are of benefit to all practitioners in the state regardless of membership status.We publish a quarterly newsletter containing information about recent and upcoming events, the job file which is in the newsletter and online, and articles of interest to occupational therapy practitioners. Board meetings are held six times per year, and are always open to the public. We welcome all interested participants, and are more than willing to share the work of the association with newcomers.

6. How may I become more involved in ArizOTA ?
ArizOTA welcomes its members to work on various committees and/ or run for board positions. Contact the president or a committee chair regarding your areas of interest. See: www.arizota.org/about/executive-board

7. If I want to work in Early Intervention as an OT do I need to fulfill any additional requirements?
If you plan to work with children, birth to three, in a program that is funded through IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act) and/or through AzEIP (Arizona Early Intervention Program), you will need to complete a certification process to comply with the Standards of Practice in Early Intervention" through AzEIP. This process involves completion of several courses and an apprenticeship/mentoring program. The courses are free and are offered periodically throughout the calendar year. You have the option of taking the courses or testing out. After you complete the courses or the test-out option, you can begin the apprenticeship/mentoring program. The apprenticeship/mentoring program involves meeting with another professional on a regular basis to discuss professional goals and issues. The apprenticeship/mentoring program lasts 6 months for those who work full-time, and 12-months for those who work part-time. To begin the process to comply with the Standards of Practice in Early Intervention, you need to register with AzEIP. You do not have to complete the certification process before you are employed to work with children, birth to three. You may complete the process while you are employed. You have up to three years from the date that you registered to complete the certification process.

To view more detailed information about AzEIP "Standards of Practice in Early Intervention" and certification process, registration, the courses, and the apprenticeship/mentoring program, view the following website:http://www.nau.edu/ihd/asdtp/

8. How many continuing education hours are required to renew my AZ license?
A licensee shall complete continuing education for renewal of a license as follows: Occupational Therapist, 20 clock-hours for renewal of a 2-year license; and Occupational Therapist Assistant, 12 clock-hours for renewal of a 2-year license.