Occupational Therapy

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Technical Standards for the OTD Program

Technical Standards

The holder of an O.T.D. degree must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of practice situations and to render a wide spectrum of care. In order to carry out the activities described below, candidates for the O.T.D. degree must be able to consistently and accurately integrate all information received, and must have the ability to learn, integrate, analyze, and synthesize data.

A candidate for the O.T.D. degree must have the abilities and skills of five varieties: communication, problem solving, sound judgement, sensorimotor, and behavioral and social skills.  Reasonable accommodations may be possible based on an individual’s needs and are made available to candidates in some of these areas, but a candidate must be able to perform required tasks in a reasonably independent manner. The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will attempt to develop creative ways of opening the college curriculum to competitive, qualified individuals with disabilities. The College must maintain the integrity of its curriculum and preserve those elements deemed essential to educating an occupational therapist. Candidates or students who have concerns about meeting the technical standards should contact the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

    1. Communication: Candidates and students must be able to communicate with individuals they are working with either verbally, using sign language, augmentative and alternative communication devices, and other adaptive measures. Students and candidates must also be able to demonstrate the skills to listen or obtain information from others and process it appropriately. This is crucial to be able to obtain vital care information from clients they are working with and for providing important medical information to the clients and others on the care team. Students and candidates must be able to communicate effectively using written communication. This is important for completion of documentation and communication among professionals. The candidates and students must also be able to obtain, comprehend, synthesize, and utilize information gained to develop and implement intervention programs for clients.
    2. Problem Solving: Candidates and students must be able to perform observation of clients, contexts, and other contributing factors for application to development of intervention planning and programing.  Candidates and students must demonstrate cognitive skills capable of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data to make practice decisions and perform research as required of a doctoral level student. 
    3. Sound Judgment: Students and candidates must demonstrate the ability to perform self, contextual, and client assessments to be able to demonstrate strong safety awareness and to reduce risk to all involved in the occupational therapy process.  Students and candidates must be able to utilize information gained from a variety of sources to determine appropriate application to practice, research, professional relationships, and all aspects of occupational therapy. All candidates and students must demonstrate the ability to rationalize their reasoning for determining an appropriate course of action in the occupational therapy process.
    4. Sensorimotor Skills: Students and candidates must have sufficient motor function and control to be able to provide occupational therapy services within a defined setting.  Students must demonstrate basic control of fine and gross motor functions and adaptations to task to be able to overcome perceived difficulties. Students need to be able to demonstrate functional control of equilibrium and senses of touch and vision to be able to provide safe and appropriate occupational therapy care.
    5. Behavioral and Social Skills: Candidates and students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients and others (team members, families, caregivers, etc.). Candidates and students must be able to tolerate taxing workloads, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that will be assessed during the admission and educational processes.

    The applicant should evaluate themselves for compliance with these technical standards. Submission of the application will serve as testimony of compliance with these standards.