Occupational therapy is a noble profession that helps clients achieve the best outcome in their professional and personal lives. The primary purpose of an occupational therapist is to engage in continuing professional development activities and respond to the needs of their clients. To ensure the best service to their clients, OTs need to stay up-to-date with the regular transformation in this field. Furthermore, they also have to meet specific state license and regulatory requirements. Continuing education in occupational therapy is one such requirement that brings along several perks. There are several traditional ways to earn OT CEUs. However, this blog will highlight non-traditional ways to earn Online OT CEUs.
#1- Reading Journal Articles
Some states in the United States grant Continuing Education Unit credits for reading journal articles. It can also add to your professional development unit. A list of States where an Occupational therapist can earn CEUs credits by reading journal articles are-
- West Virginia
Another thing to remember is that you cannot read textbook chapters if it is required for academic coursework purposes. It does need to be an independent article outside the recommended readings for your coursework.
Here are the steps involved:
- Highlight a topic you are interested in. Use boolean terms like Traumatic Brain Injury AND sensory processing.
- Search for articles on membership websites like AOTA
- If you are looking for free articles, then open access journals are your best bet. Websites like: PubMed, Google Scholar, Proquest etc. These websites allow you access the full text of journal articles without having to pay or commit to a subscription.
- Read the article and write a paragraph about the main points of the article, how it applies to you in your practice and don’t forget to include an annotated bibliography.
- Submit the form to NBCOT
As per NBCOT guidelines, you can earn up to 36 units in a year reading relevant articles in your field. Also, you need to read/ write about 2 articles or 2 chapters to earn 1 PDU for continuing education in OT.
Remember to check out the requirements for your specific state, as each state has unique guidelines regarding reading journal articles.
Here is a list of open-access articles I would recommend for OTs that are more general and can be applied to practitioners working in any setting:
- Park E. Y. (2021). Meta-Analysis of Factors Associated with Occupational Therapist Burnout. Occupational therapy international, 2021, 1226841.
- Lin, Tiffany & Fisher, Gail. (2020). Applying the Model of Human Occupation During the Pandemic Stay-at-Home Order. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy. 8. 1-7. 10.15453/2168-6408.1770.
- Breuer, Kelly; Cink, Christina; Geisler, Shawna; Hillstrom, Hannah; Ice, Cerena; Kreuser, Olivia; Mazurkevicz, Ladislava; Schommer, Hallie; and Bass, Jullie D.. (2019). Trauma and Health Outcomes: An Evidence-based Practice Project.
#2- Level II Fieldwork
Just like reading Journal Articles, Some states in the United States of America recognize level II fieldwork as a viable way to earn CEUs. Working with the state licensing agencies is generally advised to bring the most out of your fieldwork. No more than 12 hours can be earned from level II field work. Some aspects to keep in mind while being a part of Level II fieldwork are-
- The supervision must be direct for an OT student doing level II fieldwork.
- The licensee must be the main supervisor.
- Supervision can not be the primary responsibility of employment.
- Certification of the supervision from the OT program, a record of the student supervised along with dates and times of supervision must be submitted to receive credit.
#3- Continuing education Presentation
Lastly, presentations by licensees at conferences and or professional organizations are a great way to earn some CEUs Units.. Though counted only once, there is no limit on hours that can be earned with it. However, presentations for community organizations have a limit of 8 hours.
Another thing to remember is that creating online CEU courses for OT can also be a brilliant little side hustle. Creating evergreen content on popular evidence-based topics are always in high demand and this is one side hustle that is easy to fit into your flexible schedule. Interested in learning more?
Sign up for my “Create an online CEU course” which covers everything you need to know to select, research, create and sell your evergreen continuing education course to multiple vendors. Sign up here.