Occupational therapists have the privilege of working with individuals with impairments or disabilities to develop or regain the “occupations” that are meaningful in their lives. Occupational therapists may help people improve performance of daily living tasks, learn in school, engage in social relationships and community activities, or resume job duties impacted by illness or injury.
As a student in Nazareth's occupational therapy degree program, you learn how to develop or improve a person’s sensory, physical, cognitive/perceptual, and/or psychosocial abilities. You learn to modify the environment to help the person to be as self-sufficient and productive as possible. The program prepares you for entry-level general practice and develops your initial skills in areas of specialization such as early intervention, school-based practice, neurological rehabilitation, environmental analysis and modification, ergonomics, and treatment of upper extremity and orthopedic impairments.
Education: B.S., State University of New York at Buffalo; M.S., State College at Buffalo; Ed.D., State University of New York at Buffalo.
Teaching and Research Interests: Pediatric occupational therapy; neurodevelopmental and sensory integration therapies as they apply to children with disabilities. Recent research and publications have focused on infants in neonatal intensive care and on the effects of positioning on development.
“The strengths of the OT program include building close relationships with OT professors over five years and gaining more hands-on experience than is required by the profession. We do five week-long, and two 3-month fieldwork placements, which allow us to participate in providing OT in schools, long-term care facilities, hospitals, home care, and rehab centers. Each OT “practice” course is connected to a clinical experience working with clients on campus and off-site. As a student OT, I’ve had so many opportunities to build a network.”— Morgan Monahan ‘17G, shown in the campus clinic helping a child build muscle tone, improve posture, encourage attention, and develop his skills using both hands.
Occupational therapy jobs are expected to grow 27% (adding 30,400 jobs nationwide) in the decade ending 2024, much faster than average, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. News & World Report ranks occupational therapists among the top 20 health care jobs and #23 overall among The 100 Best Jobs of 2016.