Clinical observation (job shadowing)

Before you apply, occupational therapy schools will expect that you have explored the profession through observing in an OT environment.  In fact, job shadowing is a requirement for admission to most occupational therapy programs. Many programs require applicants to complete a minimum number of observation hours under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist.  

Clinical observation will also help you decide if a career in occupational therapy is the right fit for you. You can contact occupational therapy clinics, hospitals, and long-term care facilities to set up shadowing opportunities. For more suggestions, consult the shadowing page.

Check with programs where you plan to apply to understand their shadowing requirements. It is important to log your shadowing hours, confirm those hours with each occupational therapist you shadow, and maintain their current contact information if you need to reach them at the time you are applying.