The NBCOT Exam (OTR) is a challenging and comprehensive assessment for men and women who want to enter the rewarding field of occupational therapy. The exam is developed by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, and those who pass are recognized as Occupational Therapists Registered.
The content of the NBCOT Exam (OTR) is divided into four domains intended to represent the most important tasks in occupational therapy: gathering information about factors that influence occupational performance (13 percent of the exam); formulating conclusions regarding the client’s needs and priorities to develop a client-centered intervention plan (28 percent); selecting and implementing evidence-based interventions to support participation in areas of occupation throughout the continuum of care (39 percent); and upholding professional standards and responsibilities to promote quality in practice (20 percent).
The NBCOT Exam (OTR) exam consists of three simulation test items and 170 multiple-choice questions (with four possible answers). In a simulation test item, a scene is described and the test taker must select the appropriate actions. Some of the potential answers will be partially correct, and it is the job of the candidate to select the best answer.
Scoring the exam usually takes about four weeks. Raw scores (the number of questions answered correctly) are placed on a scale of 300 to 600 according to a formula that accounts for the relative difficulty of the test version. The minimum passing score on the NBCOT exam (OTR) is 450.
NBCOT Exam (OTR) Practice Test
1. An occupational therapist is working in an outpatient orthopedic clinic. During the patient’s history the patient reports, “I tore 3 of my 4 Rotator cuff muscles in the past.” Which of the following muscles cannot be considered as possibly being torn?
A: Teres minor
B: Teres major
2. An occupational therapist at an outpatient clinic is returning phone calls that have been made to the clinic. Which of the following calls should have the highest priority for medical intervention?
A: A home health patient reports, “I am starting to have breakdown of my heels.”
B: A patient that received an upper extremity cast yesterday reports, “I
can’t feel my fingers in my right hand today.”
C: A young female reports, ”I think I sprained my ankle about 2 weeks ago.”
D: A middle-aged patient reports, ”My knee is still hurting from the TKR.”
3. An occupational therapist is assessing a rupture of the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb. Which of the following terms is another phrase for this condition?
A: Mallet finger
B: Gamekeeper’s thumb.
C: Herberden’s nodes
D: Early signs of CTS.
4. An occupational therapist is performing a screening on a patient that has been casted recently on the left upper extremity. Which of the following statements should the occupational therapist be most concerned about?
A: The patient reports, “I didn’t keep my extremity elevated like the doctor asked me to.”
B: The patient reports, “I have been having pain in my left forearm.”
C: The patient reports, “My left arm has really been itching.”
D: The patient reports, “The arthritis in my wrists is flaring up, when I put weight
on my crutch.”
5. A 93 year-old female with a history of Alzheimer’s Disease gets admitted to an Alzheimer’s unit. The patient has exhibited signs of increased confusion and limited stability with gait. Moreover, the patient is refusing to use a w/c. Which of the following is the most appropriate course of action for the occupational therapist?
A: Recommend the patient remain in her room at all times.
B: Recommend family members bring pictures to the patient’s room.
C: Recommend a speech therapy consult to the doctor.
D: Recommend the patient attempt to walk pushing the w/c for safety.
1. (B) Teres Minor, Infraspinatus, Supraspinatus, and Subscapularis make up the Rotator Cuff.
2. (B) The patient experiencing neurovascular changes should have the highest priority. Pain following a TKR is normal, and breakdown over the heels is a gradual process. Moreover, a subacute ankle sprain is almost never a medical emergency.
3. (B) Gamekeeper’s thumb identifies this condition.
4. (B) Pain may be indicating neurovascular complication.
5. (B) Stimulation in the form of pictures may decrease signs of confusion.
Occupational Therapy Salary
Occupational therapy is a service that helps people do what they want and need to do. This may involve helping people recover from an injury or emotional, mental, or physical disability. The goal is to help the client offset disabilities and improve existing functions. On the initial meeting with an occupational therapist, an evaluation is conducted with the client and goals are set. An intervention plan is designed to help improve the client’s ability to perform his or her daily activities. During the course of treatment, constant evaluations are conducted on the progress of the client. A thorough evaluation may include the person’s home, work, and school environments. During the treatment, adaptive equipment may be recommended, and the occupational therapist provides training to the client, family members, and caregivers. The occupational therapist demonstrates how to use the equipment or perform rehabilitative activities.
The occupational therapist typically uses machines and tools to assist their clients. In some cases, client rehabilitation is a slow process; therefore, they tend to build long-lasting relationship with the people they serve. The schedule of an occupational therapist may be varied, with most days working on their feet. Some occupational therapists work for different employers in different locations or at different home-based locations. If the occupational therapist provides treatment at a school, he or she may have to attend meetings with teachers. Lifting and support might be required when assisting people with physical disabilities.
Training and education for the physical therapist position varies by state. Most states and employers require a postbaccalaureate accredited degree to apply for licensure and an occupational therapy job. Occupational therapist course studies include biology, sociology, anatomy, and physical sciences. There are more than 150 master’s degree programs and four doctoral degree programs, all which require at least 24 hours of supervised work experience during course work. Finally, the student must go through the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) before applying for licensure, which is necessary to practice in the field. Continuing education courses are required for licensing renewals. For those individuals who work in schools, other types of educational certifications, course work, and background checks are required. Some occupational therapists opt to go through voluntary certification administered by the National Board for Certifying Occupational Therapy. Upon completing this exam, the therapist is called an Occupational Therapist Registered (OTR). This is one more designation that provides a competitive edge over other candidates and advancement opportunities. The occupational therapist who maintains certifications and licenses will have the best chance of competing in the market.
When looking at the future of this profession, the occupational therapy salary is excellent for the health care field, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it is expected to grow. People who have experience working with the elderly, driver rehabilitation, and ergonomic consultation and design are expected to be the most in demand. It is not unusual for this job responsibility to expand into supervising and assisting aides or assistants. A few ways an occupational therapist can qualify for salary increases may be by obtaining additional certifications such as Certified Hand Therapist (CHR), Occupational Therapist Registered/Licensed (OTR/L), or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Contract work could mean higher wages; however, this option does not typically include benefits. Working at a larger institution, seniority, and earning a postgraduate degree are other ways to increase salary. The average occupational therapist salary range is between $42,000 and $98,000 per year with benefits and perks that consist of vacation days, paid time off, pension, education reimbursement, and insurance benefits.
About 50 percent of occupational therapists earn between $55,000 and $82,000. The BLS expects this occupation to grow 26 percent, by the year 2018, mainly because people are living longer. This is a significantly higher growth rate than most other professions.