In an ever-evolving field that is designed to meet the needs of society, occupational therapists are expected to commit to continuing education in order to best serve our clients. In fact, to maintain certification with the NBCOT, it is required to complete at least 36 units of continuing education at renewal (every three years). The price of CEUs, however, can be hefty and traditional opportunities can be time-consuming for a busy therapist. This blog entry will cover a variety of free CEU occupational therapy CEUs and opportunities for occupational therapists that can be accessed virtually.
American Occupational Therapy Association
AOTA often offers free webinars that are for both members and non-members. Check the website frequently for different options. At this time there is a free four-module course on Hunting’s Disease. Also check for a variety of low-cost, quality CEUs starting at $19.99 for AOTA members.
Another website that offers free occupational therapy CEUs is Occupationaltherapy com .This continuing education focused website offers a free CEU course just for signing up and using the promo code 1FREECOURSE. There are over 550 courses to pick from and they are constantly adding new courses to fit the needs of practitioners. The content is actually created for OTs and Occupationaltherapy com is an is both an NBCOT Professional Development Provider as well as an AOTA Approved Provider. Courses are offered via video, text, or podcast (a great option for commuters!) If you decide that one course isn’t enough, it is only $99 for a full year subscription.
OnlineCE (ChiroCredit) provides courses for healthcare providers including occupational therapists. Upon registration, occupational therapy practitioners get a free course: “An Overview of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome”. Other courses can be purchased a la carte, starting at $19 for a one-hour course.
Supervise a Fieldwork Student
An excellent way to give back to our profession and to reflect on your own knowledge and skills, hosting a fieldwork student can earn you credit for your NBCOT renewal. For a level I student, earn 1 unit. For a level 2 student you’ll earn 1 unit per week of supervision. This is truly a win-win for students and professionals.
OT Potential is an occupational therapist-run website and community that offers practitioners the ability to stay up-to-date with the latest evidence-based research! The membership offers AOTA approved CEUs for occupational therapists in the form of podcasts. Check out their free CEU course “POTS and COVID-19 Long Haulers,” take a brief quiz, and get your certificate automatically by email.
If you are currently certified as an OTR or COTA, you already have access to the NBCOT Navigator. The NBCOT Navigator is a portal for professional development related to a variety of OT practice areas including ergonomics, management, orthopedics, neurology, and more. Check your knowledge in the content area of your choice using case simulations, practice quizzes, a library resource, and visual tool for building orthotics.
Another great resources for free occupational therapy CEUs is AbleNet, that offers monthly live webinars related to all things assistive technology. There are also over 200 videos on their YouTube channel that are full of practical ideas that you can take directly to your practice. Simply watch the video then fill out a short form to verify your attendance. You’ll get a certificate of attendance via email!
Saebo is a medical device company that creates innovative equipment to help improve mobility and function in neurological patients. An AOTA-approved provider, Saebo offers a variety of self-paced courses, great for a clinician working with patients who have neurological conditions. Highlights include “Using Mental Practice to Improve Motor Recovery,” “Fostering Patient Compliance While at Home” and “Introduction to Electrotherapy.”
Therapro offers regularly scheduled live webinars along with a library of recorded webinars that you can watch for free. Contributions come from experts in various practice areas including sensory processing and integration; executive functioning; teletherapy; motor skills; and so much more. You’ll get a certificate of participation following completion of the webinar.
Other Free Occupational Therapy CEUs and Opportunities
There are even more places you can check for free CEUs! Are you a member of your state occupational therapy association? Check in with them for upcoming free (or at least low-cost) seminars. Staffing agencies also sometimes offer free CEUs. In addition, your liability insurance may offer a free course to you as a customer. Employed by a large company? Express your interest in continuing education and check in to see if there are any upcoming in-person or virtual opportunities for learning.
Since licensure requirements vary by state, it is important to always verify that your continuing education units will be accepted by the necessary entity. Always track your CEUs and keep for at least one year after renewal in case of the event of an audit. Happy learning!