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Occupational Therapy FAQ

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding occupational therapy received by the New Hampshire Office of Allied Health Professionals. For FAQs specific to a particular board, visit that board website.

FAQ - Physical Agent Modalities (PAMs)

What is Occupational Therapy?

What is an Occupational Therapist and Occupational Therapy Assistant?

Is a New Hampshire license required?

What are licensure qualifications?

What is the Occupational Therapy Governing Board?

What does the Occupational Therapy Governing Board Do?

How is the Board Organized?

How does the Board monitor competency of Licensees?

When should I contact the board?

How are complaints filed?

When does the Board take disciplinary action?

Can an Occupational Therapist fill pillboxes for home health patients?

Is it within the scope of practice for an Occupational Therapist to perform finger stick tests for INR?

Is dry needling an approved modality for an Occupational Therapist?

back to topWhat is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy is the analysis and use of purposeful activity with individuals who are limited by physical injury or illness, developmental or learning disabilities, psycho-social dysfunction or the aging process, in order to maximize independence, prevent disability and maintain health.

back to topWhat is an Occupational Therapist and Occupational Therapy Assistant?

A licensed occupational therapist is a highly educated and skilled professional specializing in occupational therapy. The occupational therapist works in cooperation with physicians and other allied health personnel, as an integral member of the athletic health care team in hospitals, clinics, secondary schools, and other health care settings.

Occupational therapists have at minimum, a bachelor's degree in occupational therapy, which may include human anatomy, and physiology, bio-mechanics, kinesiology and occupational therapy theory, courses in mental health and physical disabilities interventions for adults and pediatrics. Clinical affiliations done under appropriate supervision constitute the practical component of training and education. Graduates are professionally certified by successful passage of the national examination administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

Occupational Therapy Assistants have at minimum an associates degree in occupational therapy, and complete a practical clinical affiliation. Graduates must successfully pass the national examination administered by NBCOT.

back to topIs a New Hampshire license required?

There are two laws, which govern applicants for licensure. Allied Health law, RSA 328-F and Occupational Therapy law RSA 326-C. All persons, who provide occupational therapy services in New Hampshire, must be licensed by the Occupational Therapy Governing Board. Licensees are also held to nationally recognized professional and ethical standards.

back to topWhat are licensure qualifications?

Qualifications are as follows:

  • Successful completion of approved academic and fieldwork requirements.
  • Taking and passing a national certification exam.

What is the Occupational Therapy Governing Board?

It is a regulatory board charged to administer the licensing process for the practice of occupational therapy under the provisions of the laws and rules of RSA 326-C and RSA 328-F. The Board is responsible for protecting the health, safety and welfare of individuals who receive occupational therapy services in New Hampshire.

back to topWhat does the Occupational Therapy Governing Board do?

Members meet monthly to conduct Board business and:

  • Develop policy and set standards of practice.
  • Review applications and issue licenses to qualified applicants.
  • Investigate complaints.
  • Take appropriate disciplinary action when violations are found to have occurred.
  • Monitor and enforce continuing education requirements.

back to topHow is the Board organized?

The five-member Board is made up of:

  • two licensed occupational therapists,
  • one occupational therapy assistant,
  • a medical doctor, and
  • a public member

who are appointed by the Governor.

back to topHow does the Board monitor competency of licensees?

The Board requires continuing education of the licensee for every two-year renewal cycle. The purpose of continuing education is to enhance and update professional skills in ever changing technologies in order to provide appropriate occupational therapy services.

back to topWhen should I contact the board?

As a consumer, you are encouraged to choose professionals who uphold the ethical and professional standards of occupational therapy. You are invited to contact the board:

  • To determine whether the practitioner holds current license.
  • You feel the therapist has behaved in an unprofessional manner.
  • You are dissatisfied with the occupational therapy services provided.
  • You have not received satisfaction after notifying the therapist and/or the employer.
  • You want to know if a specific therapist has had any disciplinary actions taken against (s)he.
  • If you have any questions regarding occupational therapy services.

back to topHow are complaints filed?

A person who wishes to file a complaint, should contact the Board to inquire what information the board will need. When the complaint is received, the Board will review it. If the Board determines the complaint is within their jurisdiction, the Board will investigate further.

back to topWhen does the Board take disciplinary action?

When an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant has been found guilty of:

  • practicing occupational therapy in a manner detrimental to the public health and welfare;
  • obtaining or attempting to obtain a license by fraud or deception;
  • engaging in unprofessional conduct as defined by the Board;
  • gross negligence or incompetence.

Question: Can an Occupational Therapist fill pillboxes for home health patients?back to top

An Occupational Therapist can fill a pill box as long as it is the Occupational Therapist is doing so as part of a medical management goal and the patient is participating in the task.

Is it within the scope of practice for an Occupational Therapist to perform finger stick tests for INR?

It is permissible under the NH OT practice act for OTt’s to perform the finger stick test for INR using the portable stick devices. It is covered under the umbrella of collecting vital signs and is identical in setup/execution of blood glucose monitoring. back to top

Is dry needling an approved modality for an Occupational Therapist?

An Occupational Therapist can perform Dry Needling as long as they are licensed in the State of New Hampshire, PAM's certified under that license, and can show they have received training and have demonstrate competence. back to top


Office of Professional Licensure and Certification
7 Eagle Square |  Concord, NH 03301
Main Telephone: (603) 271-2152