All occupational therapists must regularly take continuing education courses to maintain their licensure, stay up to date on industry standards, and enhance their skills. Occupational therapy continuing education (CE) courses come in many forms, including online sessions, live webinars, in-person workshops, conference-based seminars, and more, allowing students and practitioners to stay current in ways that fit their schedules. Below, we discuss everything you need to know about occupational therapy continuing education, like the benefits, required continuing education units (CEUs), renewal periods, options for OT courses, and more.

Understanding the Value of Continuing Education in Occupational Therapy

Continuing education courses are not just about checking off a mandatory box by meeting national board requirements. Taking courses regularly deepens your passion for the field, allowing you to provide better care to patients through the following benefits:

Staying Current With Best Practices

OT continuing education courses cover the latest research, resources, treatment methods, and technologies in the field, which you must learn about to provide the best possible care to your patients. For example, one course could teach you about a new aquatic treadmill that revolutionizes how you treat your clients.

Expanding Skills and Specializations

Occupational therapy CEU courses increase your knowledge and technical proficiency in the field so you can provide better care to clients. CEU courses can:

  • Increase prevention of medical errors
  • Reduce compassion fatigue
  • Improve knowledge
  • Heighten ethics in specific practice areas
  • Improve patient outcomes
  • Expand skill sets and knowledge in specialized areas, like pediatrics, hand therapy, or geriatrics

By meeting your continuing education requirements, you can enjoy professional development as you gain new skills to help you progress as an OT provider.

Types of Continuing Education Opportunities for Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants have many CEU courses to choose from when fulfilling their continuing education requirements. Here are some examples of American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)-approved provider courses and other CEU courses you can take:

Online Courses and Webinars

Online occupational therapy CE courses provide ideal flexibility and convenience for busy professionals. You can take on-demand courses, join live webinars, and more on your schedule. For example, you may download an on-demand video on ethics for occupational therapists from an AOTA-approved provider, allowing you to fulfill a few occupational therapy CEUs for your next renewal period.

Workshops and Conferences

In-person occupational therapy continuing education experiences, such as workshops and conferences, provide exceptional learning opportunities. Beyond the knowledge you gain in the course, you can also network with other occupational therapy professionals while gaining hands-on practice. If you can work a few OT continuing education workshops into your schedule, you can likely receive many of your required CEUs, plus great insights on improving your occupational therapy practice.

University and College Courses

If you’re interested in more formal educational paths, you may want to consider university or college courses for your OT continuing education. With a college course from an approved provider, you can get your OT CEUs in while diving deeply into specialized topics to help progress your career.

Choosing the Right Continuing Education Courses

To choose the right occupational therapy continuing education course for your needs, you should consider licensure requirements and your career goals:

Accreditation and Approval: Requirements for Occupational Therapy CEU Courses

Every course you take will provide a different number of continuing education units (CEUs), which you must collect to renew your license before it expires. Each state has its continuing education requirements regarding renewal periods and the number of CEUs. For example, occupational therapy assistants and occupational therapists in California must earn 24 hours during each two-year renewal period, while OTs and OTAs in New York need 36 hours every three years.

You should ensure that each course you take counts toward your licensure requirements. Many states may require you to take AOTA-approved provider units. You can also gain course credit by maintaining your National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy status, which requires an exam.

Aligning Courses With Career Goals

Aside from ensuring that your occupational therapy continuing education selections are accredited, you should select OT courses that align with your career goals and areas of interest. For example, if you’re interested in specializing in pediatrics, you may want to select a course in this area. Doing so gives you the criteria to expand your OT career into different specialty practices.

You may choose to take a course in things you’re interested in, like breakthrough technology, so you can invest in the right tools for your OT practice. By taking this route, you can improve your business.

The Role of Technology in Continuing Education

As you expand your career as an OT, you’ll likely find yourself busier than ever, juggling course after course plus your career. Technology like Weave can make professional development far more efficient and easy to manage. Our software provides everything from appointment and course reminders to automated scheduling and communication tools so you can stay on top of your OT schedule as you grow in your career.

We offer numerous educational webinars to help you streamline your OT practice’s operations. With Weave, you can learn about:

  • Personalizing your OT patient experience
  • Streamlining the payment process
  • Optimizing online scheduling to boost productivity and patient satisfaction

Whether you want to continue learning through educational webinars or begin expanding your OT practice through integrated tech solutions, Weave is here to help.

Weave: Supporting Continuing Education, Occupational Therapy Career Progression, and Practice Growth

CE in occupational therapy is vital for professional growth and improved patient care. When you meet your required hours, you can maintain your license while gaining key skills and understanding in the OT field. We recommend leveraging technology to stay informed on CE opportunities while managing your current schedule to make the process more manageable.

At Weave, we offer comprehensive communication and management software to help you handle these tasks. Get a demo of Weave today to see how we can facilitate your educational journey while helping your practice become more efficient.

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