Category: Occupational Therapy


Kentucky OT Continuing Education


Kentucky Occupational Therapy Continuing Education Courses OnlineKentucky might be officially called the “bluegrass” state, but sometimes I think it would be just as accurate to call it the derby state, don’t you? Along that line of thought let’s talk about the race to finish all of your CEUs before the October 31st deadline! Occupational therapists and OTAs have to complete 12 hours of continuing education in order to fully qualify for license renewal.

The full CEU requirement may be completed with online CE courses such as those offered by AOTA Approved Providers like Milestone Continuing Education (#7487). Go ahead, put on that giant fancy hat you have stowed away for such occasions. Don’t be shy!

Milestone offers a wide range of CE course titles that combine recent information from your field into 3, 5, 7, and 10 hour modules designed to fit your busy schedule. Choose topics focused on:

There are hundreds of hours to choose from (believe me, I counted) and you can get started immediately when you select the online version of any module. Simply purchase your courses and download them to your preferred device – your computer, iPad, Kindle or tablet. If you need technical assistance at any point during this process, do not hesitate to call! One of our CE Specialists will happily walk you through the download steps any time (yes, that includes weekends and week nights!).

DID YOU KNOW? Milestone Continuing Education is an AOTA Approved Provider (#7487) with a course catalog currently offering topics that cover the latest information in your field. All courses are available in 2 convenient formats: downloadable PDFs (perfect for on-the-go!) and mail order where you will receive a bound hard copy of the course materials. Customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal at Milestone. Experience what online CE with Milestone is all about by visiting our website and getting started today!


Renewal Information for Nevada OTs


Nevada Occupational Therapy Continuing Education CoursesHeads up Nevada OTs, your deadline is less than 2 months away! That means it's time for little refresher on all things continuing education in the Silver State - or the Sagebrush State, or the Battle Born State, take your pick. In this brief review we'll cover all of the major aspects of the renewal process that concerns the CE requirement.

If you need a more in-depth review, there's no better place than the source: the State of Nevada Occupational Therapy Board website. Be sure to always reference your state's board rules as they are subject to frequent revisions. Now let's get started on this mini-review.

Unlike many states with a biennial deadline, OT practitioners in Nevada are required to complete the license renewal process annually with a license expiration date of June 30th. Both occupational therapists and OT assistants are required to complete 10 hours of continuing education, which may be obtained through both live seminars or with online CE courses with no limitations on the latter. If the online CE option suits your style the best, be sure to select a provider that is approved by the American Occupational Therapy Association as the courses provided are automatically accepted by the state.

Milestone is your no-gamble resource for online CE! We are an AOTA Approved Provider (#7487) and currently offer over 900 hours of downloadable course content in the OT Course Catalog. Getting started is easy; all it takes are a few clicks of your mouse. Simply select your course titles, complete the steps to create your personal profile (where all of your certificates of completion will be stored for you), purchase and download your content! You have up to one year to complete your courses once you've purchased them, but your certificates of completion (a downloadable PDF document) are stored in your account permanently.

You don't need to weigh the odds when it comes to your continuing education; the safest bet is Milestone!


National Occupational Therapy Month


One of the interesting things about visiting the National Health Observances website is looking through pages of recognized movements spotlighting opportunities to gain new appreciation and understanding for impactful issues. March was dedicated to the profession of athletic training (among other noteworthy topics). In April the efforts of Occupational Therapy practitioners is highlighted, shedding light on an often misunderstood - and underestimated - profession.

The American Occupational Therapy Association defines the practice of OT as: "help[ing] people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations)." With an emphasis on fostering independence, occupational therapists and assistants implement therapeutic techniques to help individuals who are coping with developmental or physical disabilities "live life to the fullest," as the AOTA trademark slogan goes.

We take particular care in selecting OT continuing education topics for our Course Catalog and all month we're offering a special promotion to show our appreciation for all of the hard work OTs and OTAs do all throughout the year!

National Occupational Therapy Month 2015 #OTmonth


Alabama OT CE Requirements Revisited


Alabama Occupational Therapy Continuing Education Requirements

In 2013 we reviewed the Alabama Occupational Therapy board rules in our state and profession continuing education series. Deadlines for Alabama OTs and OTAs vary between April 30th and October 31st depending on the date of your license, and with just little over a month left before the April 2015 renewal deadline we thought we'd review the main details from that post!

Occupational therapists seeking license renewal need to submit 30 hours during the biennial renewal period (3.0 CEUs). OT assistants are required to complete 20 hours in the same time frame (2.0 CEUs). The board states that no more than a third of the total hours may be derived from CE courses focused on administrative or management skills, and no more than one third of the total hours may be derived from work related presentations. The majority of the contact hours must be focused on topics directly related to the practice of occupational therapy.

Milestone Occupational Therapy CE Courses:

Milestone Continuing Education is an AOTA Approved Provider (#7487) and offers a variety of CEUs in the course catalog that cover the latest information in your field. All courses are available online in downloadable PDF formats, perfect for on-the-go, and they can also be ordered in bound hard copy form. It's our goal at Milestone to provide a great experience for our therapists by offering affordable CEUs in flexible formats that fit your lifestyle. And don't forget our Share a Course and Referral Program. Visit our website and get started today!

For all of the details, review our 2013 Alabama OT Article or go straight to the source: ASBOT Board Rules PDF


OT Continuing Education (Indiana Edition)


Snow is already falling on the great state of Indiana, but don't let it bury your December 31st deadline! Here's a quick review of the requirements you will need to check off your list before the deadlin, and how Milestone CE courses can help you get there.

Indiana Occupational Therapy Continuing Education Courses at Milestone CE

During each biennial renewal period occupational therapists and OTAs must obtain 18 hours of CEUs. Of those 18 hours, at least 9 must come from activities that meet the specifications of Category 1, which are: formally organized courses, undergraduate or graduate level classes, workshops, symposia and home study courses, like those offered at Milestone. Category 2 activities include: publishing books or academic articles, supervised fieldwork, and research activities among several others. The Indiana board defines an hour of continuing education as 50 minutes.

When choosing a continuing ed. provider to satisfy Category 1 requirements, look for NBCOT, IOTA, or AOTA approved agencies or courses. Milestone, AOTA Approve Provider #7487, currently offers over 900 hours of online (or mail order) continuing education courses that focus on the practice of occupational therapy, and are designed to fit your busy schedule. Test them out for yourself! Go to the Course Catalog, select your titles, and get started immediately with the online option. All you have to do is download your course content and you're ready to go. What are you waiting for? December 31st is only 40 days away!

If you want to learn more about Milestone, check out the FAQ Section and discover ways that you and your friends can benefit with offers like our Share-A-Course and referral programs. Rather talk to a person? Talk to one of our CE Specialists when it's convenient for you toll-free at 1-800-709-8820.


OT Continuing Education (New Mexico Edition)



New Mexico Occupational Therapists and OT Assistants have an approaching CE deadline of September 30th. According to the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing twenty (20) hours of OT continuing education must be completed during the annual renewal period. Practitioners may carry over up to sixteen (16) hours into the next renewal period beginning October 1st. Ten (10) hours may be completed with online CE courses.

As an AOTA Approved Provider (7487), Milestone CE is approved to provide continuing education courses for New Mexico OTs and OTAs. Start preparing to fulfill your annual CE requirement by reviewing our extensive course catalog, featuring over 690 hours of online or mail order courses under categories like: Movement System Impairment Syndromes, Imaging in Rehabilitation, Geriatric Rehabilitation, and Orthopedic Physical Therapy. Additionally, all Milestone CE courses are designed with the most recent information available in your field. You'll never find a stale subject here!

At Milestone CE, we know that the occupational therapy motto is "Living Life to Its Fullest," and we believe that not only includes your patients, but you as well! We also know that completing your OT continuing education requirements take precious time out of your already busy schedule, so we pride ourselves in providing our hardworking OTs and OTAs with affordable, top of the line CEUs that deliver the information and training to hone your practicing skills, and enhance your career. Our continuing education is designed to help OTs and OTAs to:

• Function efficiently in their work environment

• Improve overall knowledge of the latest studies and practice methods in the OT realm

• Develop and hone OT training skills and techniques

• Add to their arsenal of effective therapeutic approaches

Your 20 hours of occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant continuing education requirement will be due before you know it! With the remaining time you have to complete your CEUs, we hope you will consider Milestone your number one source for OT continuing education. Milestone CE is on the way to becoming a top provider of occupational therapy CE in the continuing education industry, and has developed online course work to help you achieve the training goals you need to meet for recertification. At Milestone, you can complete your CE requirement with one easy purchase,, and eliminate the stress and expense of attending occupational therapy seminars!

AOTA Approved Provider

Contact us and talk with our knowledgeable CE Specialists to find out how you can benefit from our courses. To learn more about what it means to be an AOTA Approved provider of occupational therapy continuing education, please visit the American Occupational Therapy Association website.


Geriatric Occupational Rehabilitation


Occupational Therapy Geriatric PatientsThe number of older people is increasing daily and OTs need to be ready to treat them. Geriatric rehab patients/clients require a different approach than the younger set. First of all, these people usually do not see the need for occupational therapy because they are retired. They see an occupation as a livelihood””NOT an activity. Therefore, your first step will be to clarify what OT is all about.

Next, you must get the senior to understand why occupational therapy is necessary and how it will benefit him/her. You are “selling” the senior on doing therapy; so act like a salesperson. Customers want to know the WIIFM factor. That is…what’s in it for me?

You’ll need to stress the positive outcomes as well as the negative of what will happen if they don’t do the therapy. “Your life will be a lot harder than it needs to be, if you choose not to do therapy,” always worked for me.

Make it seem as if they are making the choice. It’s similar to dealing with children by saying, “Do you want to wear your blue coat or your red coat?” The bottom line is…the child will be wearing a coat. Offering controlled choices can lead your elderly patient/client into occupational therapy.

As a rehab nurse, it was my job to get patients to do their range of motion exercises each evening. The stretching hurt, so people didn’t want to comply. When I explained it was their choice if they wanted a normal looking limb or not-- they always did their ROMs.

Sometimes geriatric patients/clients think that occupational therapy is a waste of time. I often heard the complaint, “They tried to make me to do things a kindergartner would do!” That was followed by, “I wouldn’t do it.”

If that senior citizen understood that putting pegs into holes on a board would ultimately help him regain the function in his weak arm, he probably would have done it.

Show and Tell

Show the geriatric person the goal and explain how you plan to help them reach it. Some forgetfulness is a natural part of aging. So, writing it down helps to provide a visual reminder of how and when to do the activity, as well as why the person should put in the effort.

Problems, Problems

Focus on your goal--to get the senior to do what you need him/her to do. Meeting that goal will lead the patient/client to improve as much and as fast as possible. Avoid focusing only on the issue you are there to treat. Look at the whole picture.

Normal aging with decreased visual acuity, decreased stamina, forgetfulness, and decreased motor function all need to be taken into account.

Most geriatric people have more than one problem. The senior might have general deterioration from aging as well as some chronic health issues. And now, that senior has another problem that requires OT.


Say the senior already had arthritis and now has a stroke…that could double the amount of pain that person usually tolerates. Monitor each person carefully to be sure there is adequate pain control. A person in pain is NOT going to do much therapy. Determine the pain source and treat it accordingly. Try ice, heat, massage, manipulation, topical treatments, oral pain medication, or whatever you think will help make your session most effective.

Most patients I treated did not want to take oral pain medicine regularly. They worried about “getting the habit.” It took time and effort to educate them before they understood that taking pain medicine before therapy would help them to function better and get home faster. After they finally understood…they took it because they knew it was in their best interest.


Motivation is not a strong skill in the elderly. They complain, “I’m tired and retired. “ Convince the patient/client that it will benefit him or her to do OT.

The geriatric mind set is different from that of younger people. Older people usually worked hard all their lives. They typically want to “follow the rules’ and don’t want to be seen as a “troublemaker.” Use that to your advantage. Explain what you need them to do. Then tell how and why they should do it.

Motivate seniors with constant praise. Also, remind them of the benefits they will earn by working hard. That way you will both be doing your best!


Motivating Your Clients


Motivating Clients for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists

You will never get people to reach their potential until they are motivated to do so. Everyone knows that motivation has peaks and valleys. However, it is your responsibility to stimulate motivation in patients/clients, so they can reach their desired goal.

The main way to do this is to ASK each patient/client what goal he (or she) has in mind. Then explain exactly how that goal can be reached.

Patients/clients who have suffered a life changing injury, may have to go through the stages of grief before accepting a hard fact…such as they will never walk again. If the goal is totally unreasonable, tactfully direct the person to a realistic goal. For example: if a person with a severed spinal cord says, “My goal is to walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding next month.” I suggest you tactfully tell him that it is not a realistic goal. But offer an option that IS doable. Something like, “Let’s concentrate on building up your strength so you will be able to attend the wedding and the reception.”

Remember what the patient/client wants and make sure goals meet the SMART criteria. A SMART goal is:

  • Specific
  • Measurable (you will be able to walk X number of feet)
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timed (by July you will be…)

Written goals are more concrete; they motivate people. The person can see exactly where he (or she) is going. I’ve had success motivating people by telling stories or showing them pictures of other s who have overcome the same obstacles…or worse. It is hard for a person to wallow in self- pity because of an arm injury after hearing about a soldier who lost both of his arms in an active combat scenario. And when they learn that the ex-soldier now shovels the snow off his walk…it blows away excuses for NOT doing more. A person can hardly feel sorry for himself after hearing something like that. The person learns that no one is hopeless.

One patient became despondent after his leg was mangled. He wasn’t even trying to improve. I brought in a journal article that included a before and after picture of someone who had an even worse injury. He said, “You mean my leg can actually look almost normal and move again?” Whenever a person learns that something is possible, he (or she) is more likely to work towards a goal that seemed impossible before.

When I worked in one Rehabilitation Hospital, most of my patients were quadriplegics, paraplegics, and hemiplegics. The doctors and therapists asked our “old” patients to come back to talk to the newly traumatized ones. It gave encouragement to the newly injured. The newbies asked the “old pros” things they would never ask a professional. Issues like: catheters, bowel function, and sex were discussed candidly. Seeing people who were working, going to college, dating, and raising families while in a wheelchair, inspired them. It motivated them to do more than they had been doing. It gave them new hope. Even if life would never be “normal” again…they understood that life was still worth living. Eventually, they developed a new normal.

That’s where you come in. Show the patients/ clients what their new normal will look like. Then show them how to achieve it. Motivate people by showing them what they will get from all their hard work. Nothing is more frustrating than failing at something when you are trying your best. Yet that is exactly what happens when someone is recovering. So encourage people to keep trying. Be sure to break the goals down into manageable tasks and praise all efforts. It will be your job to routinely review the goals and the progress. Remind people they can reach their goals IF they continue to work at it. Then do your best to keep your patient/client moving forward.


Managing Strokes


"Strokes are the leading cause of disabilities in adults,” reports The American Stroke Association. So, stroke victims will require a large segment of therapy resources.

The majority of strokes occur for two reasons:

1. A stationary blood clot (thrombus) forms and interferes with the circulation to the brain.

2. A traveling blood clot (embolus) gets lodged and stops the flow of blood to the brain.

The thrombus is a solid mass that forms in a vessel. The embolus is often a piece of thrombus that broke away and travelled through the bloodstream…until it reached a spot too narrow to pass through. Once it becomes stuck, it cuts off circulation to that area. These clots account for 80% of strokes.

Vascular ruptures account for the other 20% of strokes. An example would be an intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding in the brain.

Any one of these events causes a blood flow interruption and damages the brain, resulting in a stroke.

The level of impairment depends on the area of the brain damaged, and the extent of that damage. If the damage is on the right side of the brain, the left side of the body will experience problems. If the damage is on the left side of the brain, the right side of the body suffers.

Hemiplegia is the total paralysis of half (hemi) the body. The person has NO control over it.

(When dealing with hemiplegia, you need to approach from the “good” side so the person can see you.)

Hemiparesis is weakness of half of the body. The person has some control and movement, but it is awkward and unstable.

The main impairments that will concern physical therapists will be:

Managing Streaks

· Function

· Communication

· Memory

· Emotional control

· Vision

· Swelling/edema

Patients with strokes usually have difficulty communicating.

Dysarthria is when the speech becomes slurred, slow, or difficult to understand. However, the person CAN speak.

Aphasia often accompanies the stroke in the forms of expressive aphasia or receptive aphasia.

Expressive aphasia is when a person is not able to produce the words he wants to say. He cannot express himself. The person may answer “Yes” when he means to say “No”.

Receptive aphasia is when the message someone else transmits gets garbled inside the patient’s brain.

You might ask the person to close her eyes but she lifts her hand instead. She is having difficulty receiving the message.

The National Institute of Health has a standardized measure that shows the relationship between the damage and prognosis. It gives detailed instructions on testing and obtaining a score which will help determine what therapies the patient will need.


Level of consciousness (LOC) Alert 0

Drowsy 1

Stuporous 2

Comatose 3

LOC questions Answers both correctly 0

(Ask patients their age and the month) Answers one correctly 1

Answers both incorrectly 2

LOC commands

( Ask patient to open and close eyes Performs both correctly 0

and to make a fist) Performs one correctly 1

Performs neither task correctly 2

Gaze Only horizontal movements are tested. Partial gaze palsy means that gaze is abnormal but forced deviation or total gaze pareses is not present. Forced deviation, or total gaze paresis NOT overcome by the oculocephalic maneuver. That maneuver is done by turning the head quickly to the right and left and watching to see if the eyes move normally. NOTE: The oculocephalic maneuver is done on comatose patients.

Normal 0

Partial gaze palsy 1

Forced deviation 2

Visual field (Hemianopia is the loss of vision on the left or right side)

No visual loss 0

Partial hemianopia 1

Complete hemianopia 2

Bilateral hemianopia/blind 3

Facial palsy None 0

Minor (assymetry on smiling) 1

Partial (paralysis on lower face) 2

Complete (absence of facial movement) 3

Motor arm function No drift (holds limb at 45° or 90 ° for 10 sec) 0

(score for both left and right sides) Drift (drifts down before 10 sec.) 1

Some effort against gravity

(limb drifts but has some effort ) 2

No effort against gravity (Limb falls) 3

No movement 4

Motor leg function No drift (Holds 30 ° position for 5 sec.) 0

(score both left and right sides) Drift (falls before 5 sec. but does not hit bed) 1

Some effort against gravity ( leg falls by 5 sec.,

but has some effort against gravity) 2

No effort against gravity ( falls on bed immediately) 3

No movement 4

Limb ataxia Ataxia is poor coordination, unsteadiness, or difficulty functioning.

(Finger to nose and heel to shin tests are done )

Absent 0

Present in one limb 1

Present in two limbs 2

Untestable ( explain why) __


(Test by pinprick on face, arm, leg) Normal 0

Mild to moderate loss (feels, but less so than usual) 1

Severe loss (is not aware of being touched) 2

Best language function No aphasia 0

Mild to moderate aphasia 1

Severe aphasia 2

Mute, global aphasia 3

Dysarthria Normal articulation 0

Mild to moderate dysarthria 1

Severe dysarthria (unintelligible or worse) 2

Untestable (explain why) __

Neglect For this test it means the lossof ability to see, hear, use space correctly, or pay attention.

No neglect 0

Partial neglect 1

Profound neglect 2

(does not recognize own hands or orients to only one side of space)

Total the score of each individual test. The higher the score…the worse the damage.

(You may download a copy of this by typing--nih stroke score””into your computer search engine.)

Exercising effected areas is vital. Physical therapists can help determine the person’s progress.

When you explain what is going to happen and why therapy is the key to a better outcome…the person is more likely to do it.

What you do and what you get the stroke victims to do, will make all the difference in their recovery. Therefore, YOU are essential to their progress!


Mississippi CE (and a Recipe for OTs)!


Mississippi occupational therapists are responsible for completing 20 hours (or 2 continuing education units "CEUs") within the biennial renewal period ending on April 30, 2016. As part of the total 20 hour requirement, the board instructs that at least 6 hours (or ".6" CEUs) must come from courses directly related to the practice of occupational therapy. Additionally, these 6 hours must come from live occupational therapy seminars, or "face to face" classroom learning experiences. OTs are allowed to take up to 7 hours of the total requirement online. For more details about the OT continuing education rules and regulations, visit the Mississippi Occupational Therapy Board (specifics about CE are on Page 10 of the linked document).

Turn to Milestone CE, an AOTA Approved Provider (#7487), for your online courses. Start with the Course Catalog and browse through hundreds of hours of online CE courses with detailed course overviews, professional objectives and more just a click away! Select the courses that apply to your area of practice and download them to your computer or tablet device so you can study when it fits your schedule. Completing your CE courses with Milestone is as simple as this: read the material; take the exam; print your certificate! Get started today!

mississippi, mud brownies, and continuing education for occupational therapists

While researching potential themes that would be fitting for a state awesome enough to have two official nicknames (the 'Magnolia State' and the 'Hospitality State') I stumbled upon this decadent recipe that I just couldn't resist sharing with you! I mean, it has Mississippi in the title, that's a close enough connection, right? You be the judge!



  • ¾ cup (90 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (110 g) white sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (130 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup (125 g) crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups (100 g) miniature marshmallows
  • ½ cup (65 g) chopped and toasted pecans

For the Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1½ cup (180 g) powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar and vanilla extract, until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Stir dry ingredients into batter.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake for about 20-25 minutes.
  7. In a microwave safe bowl, combine peanut butter and oil. Heat for 20 seconds to soften. Pour this mixture all over the warm brownies and spread.
  8. Spread miniature marshmallows over the peanut butter, return to the oven and bake until the marshmallows puff up, about 3 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven, top with the toasted chopped pecans and set aside to cool.
  10. Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar and salt.
  11. In a small pan, melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Stir in cocoa powder, milk and heat until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and immediately whisk with powdered sugar/salt mixture. Beat in vanilla extract.
  12. Spread frosting evenly over puffed marshmallows and pecans.
  13. Let cool completely (for 1-2 hours) before cutting and serving.

Recipe found on the Yummy Addiction Blog.