Frequently Asked Questions
Occupational therapy work settings can be extremely different! One advantage
of a small company is our ability to try to meet individual
needs and preferences. An employee has direct access to the
person who makes the final decision about policies and financial
1. What would a typical caseload be (i.e., is there a varied
age range or do some therapists choose to work with preschool
vs. schools age) and how many children would a full-time therapist
have on a caseload?
Part of the reason we have remained “hourly”
is so that each therapist can determine how hard he/she wants
to work. We have some very part-time therapists who are parents of young children,
as well as full-time therapists. Even within the full-time
therapists, there is a difference in the financial need of
each person and/or family. Would you want a 4-day work week or 5 days? How
often/how many evaluations would you be interested in doing?
If some of your clients are more physically or mentally draining,
you may not want an additional client on that day; however,
another day could be different.
Part of the specifics becomes a logistical issue. Typically,
parents want us to schedule therapy so that their child does
not miss school. Therefore, we can schedule younger children
who may not be in a 5-day program or those who are “home-schooled” in the mornings. Occasionally special education
preschools are only 4 mornings and those children can come in the morning.
Occasionally, there will be a child in an afternoon kindergarten
program or whose program does not begin until a little later
who also wants or can take a morning therapy time. There
are other children in preschool and kindergarten who want
early afternoon times. As the day goes on, the children coming in tend
to be older. However, there are also some younger children
whose parents work full-time, the child attends a full
day program, or otherwise need a later time. We ALWAYS have
families that want 3 to 6 p.m. times and do not have as many
requests for morning times. This is why some days we may start
later and work later.
Initially, think of 6 treatments a day (25-30 hours full-time) as being a full day. After a therapist adjusts to the clinic, routines, and schedule, we can talk about
additional clients, or other adjustments to the schedule.
It is most appropriate to begin with 6 treatments.
2. How are clients assigned to therapists?
Initially, the director does the scheduling, trying to look
at the strengths and weaknesses of each therapist, clinic
room availability, and clients on our waiting list (or needing
to be transferred from another caseload). The director is always open
to the preferences of the therapist, as well as if there are
skills the therapist would like to develop (and therefore
needs a certain type of client on their caseload) but that also has to be tempered with the reality of
who the clients are that we have available and how long they
have been on our waiting list.
3. Does your clinic provide all therapy materials, assessment
kits/forms, etc. or is that the responsibility of the therapist?
As an employee, all supplies, materials, etc. are provided
by the clinic. The director is open to recommendations for
purchases of new toys/equipment/materials.
4. At my current job, an hourly fee-for-service OT treatment
session involves 45 minutes of direct treatment time and 15
minutes of indirect time (which includes planning, set up,
take down, documentation, and administrative tasks such as photocopying
handouts, etc.). I have found that 15 minutes of indirect
time was not always enough time to even set up and take down
equipment, let alone document. Most therapists I have worked
with have found that completing these activities in 15 minutes
is quite challenging. I was wondering how therapists at your
clinic do it all in just 10 minutes.
An aide and/or volunteer can often help a therapist with setup or clean-up. However, consideration of time management may be why a therapist should initially think about
6 treatments per day. We do not schedule more than 4 clients
in a row (before at least a 1/2 hour break or more). If you
think of 6 treatments in an 8-hour workday, then there is
time for the remainder of the work needed. It also works out
when thinking about the pay. If the rate of pay is $55 x 6
= $330; for an 8-hour day that would be equivalent to $41.25
5. Would there be opportunities to run groups? I really enjoy
and have experience running several fine motor groups, printing
and writing programs and “How Does your Engine Run?”
This again becomes a logistical issue. Many years ago we
did groups, especially on Saturdays. However, now we have
such demand for individual therapy and due to the space requirements
of groups, it makes the logistics difficult. What type of
space is needed for the group? Would other therapists be able
to see treatments at the same time as the group? We are not
opposed to it, but it would be something that we would really
have to talk about to make the logistics work. Certainly
parents would be interested in Saturday groups, but therapists
usually decide they would rather not work every Saturday.
However, if that is an interest, at least groups are time
limited and so a Saturday commitment would not have to be
6. Are there opportunities to run workshops for parents,
educational assistants, teachers, etc.?
This is definitely a possibility. There are regular requests
for brief talks (2 hours) and it is likely there would
be a community interest in more formal educational presentations.
For example, parents (and possibly teachers) would probably be willing
to pay for a workshop to learn how to implement “The
7. Are there Speech Pathologists or Physical Therapists on
staff or just Occupational Therapists at the clinic?
Our clinic only has OTs. That is our specialization. We do
have many professionals in the community with whom we work closely and exchange referrals.
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