BOT stands for Bachelor of Occupational Therapy. It is a job oriented undergraduate course. BOT medical course is based on the field of Occupational Therapy. The course duration is 4½ years and on completion, leads to a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. In this article, you will be reading about BOT course details, eligibility criteria, admission process, syllabus, PG courses & specializations, career prospects, job profiles and scope.
12th Science Biology group students, who failed to secure admission in medical courses such as MBBS/BDS/BPT, may consider pursuing this job oriented course. In fact BOT and BPT (Bachelor of Physiotherapy) courses have much in common!
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy: Introduction
What is Occupational Therapy? Occupational Therapy deals with patients having physical, mental, emotional and neurological limitations. It aims at improving the life, condition and rehabilitation of such handicapped and limited people through different modes of treatments such as- exercises, functional training, aiding devices and equipment, ergonomic training and environmental restructuring & adaptation.
The reason behind the handicap/limitation/condition of the patient could be any of the following- accident, stroke, cardiac disease, paralysis, depression, autism etc. It is the task of the Occupational Therapist to analyze the condition, evaluate possibilities, create treatment plan and provide the best available treatment and support to the patient. In short, it is similar to rehabilitation of a patient.
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy trains students and helps them become skilled professional occupational therapists, capable of undertaking independent/supervised practice. Key skills drilled into students during BOT course are- observation, clinical reasoning, treatment planning and implementation of the plan.
BOT is an undergraduate course. The course lasts for a period of 4½ years. Academic program is 4 years long. 6 months are dedicated towards internship.
Science stream Biology Group (PCB subjects) students, who have passed 12th Science board examination from a recognized board are eligible to pursue this course. Candidate must also have scored a minimum score of 50% marks in PCB subjects (most institutes do have minimum marks criteria).
Admission usually takes place through State wise/Central Medical Admission authority. It is based on merit marks. Marks scored by a student in State/all India level entrance test (depending upon the type of institute you want admission in) and 12th Science board examination are taken into consideration. Based on these marks, a merit list is made. Seats will be allotted to deserving students based on the merit list.
To get a better idea about the course structure and syllabus, let us take a look at some of the important subjects present in the program. BOT program is divided into 4 academic years. We will check out important subjects present in each academic year-
1st year subjects-
- Human Anatomy
- Introduction to Occupational Therapy
- Biomedical Physics
2nd year subjects-
- Occupational Therapeutics
- Occupational therapy
3rd year subjects-
- Occupational Therapeutics
- Occupational Therapy
- Gynaecology and Obstetrics
- General Surgery
- ENT and Radiology
- Plastic Surgery
- Cardiothoracic Surgery
4th year subjects-
- Orthopaedic Conditions
- Neurological Conditions
- Psychiatric Conditions
- Medical and Surgical Conditions
It is evident from the above lists that many subjects are recurring ones. It means that they appear in more than one academic year! Apart from theoretical sessions, many of the above mentioned subjects also consists of clinical as well as practical sessions.
This section will be of help to those who failed to get admission in BOT course. If you are unable to pursue BOT course and are still interested in the field of Occupational Therapy, you may consider the following alternative courses-
- Diploma in Occupational Therapy
- B.Sc. in Occupational Therapy
- Certificate courses in Occupational Therapy
Among the above mentioned entries, B.Sc. course is the best one, followed by Diploma program. Certificate courses do help acquire useful skills. But such courses hold less value. Questions are also raised on the validity and recognition of such courses and institutes offering them (not always).
Pursuing a PG course will definitely add more value to one’s skill set! It helps one become more employable. One of the major advantages of pursuing PG course is that it helps one specialize in a particular discipline within the field of Occupational therapy. The most popular PG course among graduates is MOT. It stands for Master of Occupational Therapy. It is a 2 years long PG course. MOT course could be used to specialize in the following disciplines-
- Rehabilitation Science
- Disability Management
Other than MOT, another good PG course available in front of graduates is M.Sc. There exists many Government and Private institutes offering M.Sc. Occupational Therapy course. M.Sc. course can also be used to specialize in the above mentioned disciplines.
Apart from the above mentioned Degree programs, there also exists valuable PG Diploma as well as PG Certificate Occupational Therapy courses in India and abroad.
If you want to acquire management skills after graduation, MBA course will help you out! It is a 2 years long PG course and will help one take on administrative jobs after completing it.
Career prospects and job opportunities
Many possibilities and job opportunities exist, when it comes to the field of Occupational Therapy. After graduation and getting practice license, one may start working at Government or Private hospitals/clinics/community health centres.
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Teaching jobs are also available in front of graduates. BOT graduates may work as instructors at OT colleges/training institutes. For building a rewarding teaching career, pursuing a PG course is recommended. After completing PG course, one may work as a Lecturer at Government or Private OT Colleges/institutes.
Rehabilitation clinics are also known to recruit BOT graduates. Graduates may take on the role of rehabilitation specialist at such clinics. Patients who have been through trauma or a surgery are put through rehabilitation sessions. OT professionals may use their skills to aid the rehabilitation process of patients.
The ‘work abroad’ scope associated with this course is very promising! When it comes to developed countries such as the USA, the UK, Canada, New Zealand etc, healthcare system is very well developed. Governments there hire talented and skilled medical professionals from countries like India. Occupational Therapists are also in huge demand there.
International welfare associations as well as NGOs are also known to hire Occupational Therapists to help out needy people. Services offered by an OT professional is needed by people hailing from diverse age groups- from kids to old aged people. The demand for OT professionals is on rise. This trend has been the result of modern lifestyle.
Job profiles available in front of BOT graduates are-
- Occupational Therapist
- Rehabilitation Specialist
- OT Consultant
- OT Nurse
- Social Worker
- Marketer (supporting equipment/devices)
Places/areas where graduates may find job are-
- Government Hospitals
- Private Hospitals
- Mental Hospitals
- De-Addiction centres
- Rehabilitation Clinics
- Nursing homes
- International Welfare Bodies
- OT Colleges/Training Institutes
- Special Schools
- Supporting equipment/devices manufacturing companies