full time, 19 percent (18,430) practice part time, and 7 percent (6,790) are not practicing or are retired. Thus, the current supply of physical therapists is estimated to be 90,210.
Occupational therapy uses selected tasks and activities to restore, reinforce, and enhance performance in people with disabling conditions by facilitating learning of those skills and functions essential to help an individual adapt and achieve the capacity to perform with satisfaction to self and others those tasks and roles essential to productive living and to the mastery of self and the environment.
Occupational therapy serves a diverse population in a variety of settings such as hospitals and clinics, rehabilitation facilities, long-term care facilities, extended care facilities, industry sheltered workshops, schools and camps, private homes, and community agencies. Occupational therapists both receive from and make referrals to appropriate health, educational, or medical specialists.
The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy is the credentialing organization for occupational therapists. To become a registered occupational therapist, an individual must (1) be a graduate of an accredited occupational therapist education program and have successfully completed all therapist-level field work required by the education programs (but not less than 6 months) and (2) have successfully completed the certification examination for registered occupational therapist. There are currently 71,335 registered occupational therapists in the United States, and of these, the estimated workforce is 47,785 (Health Policy Alternatives, Inc. 1996).
The Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association accredits programs for occupational therapists. The council establishes, maintains, and promotes appropriate standards of quality for educational programs in occupational therapy and provides recognition for educational programs that meet or exceed the minimum standards. The standards are used for the development, evaluation, and self-analysis of baccalaureate and postbaccalaureate entry-level professional occupational therapy programs.
An orthotist provides care to patients with congenital or traumatic disabling conditions of the musculoskeletal structure of the body by evaluating, designing, fabricating, fitting, and aligning braces knows an orthoses. A prosthetist provides care to patients with a partial or total