An education in occupational therapy is incomplete unless it is integrated with the liberal arts. The professional occupational therapist should have the ability to think logically and analytically, communicate clearly and effectively, be intellectually autonomous, understand the interrelationship of various branches of knowledge, and develop a set of personal values. Specifically, Puget Sound's educational goals are established to teach to:
- Demonstrate the ability to move fluidly in the analysis of human occupation among data pertaining to participation, contextual factors, activities and tasks, and body functions and structure.
- Frame problems of human occupation in accordance with current theoretical models and frames of reference.
- Devise therapeutic intervention plans and programs for individual clients, for groups of clients, and for settings (i.e., population-based services).
- Demonstrate the ability to investigate and gather data systematically and logically.
- Test hypotheses during and after the course of intervention through further data collection and interpretation.
- Demonstrate professional values and attitudes that exhibit appreciation for the diversity of human values, occupation, and overt behaviors of people of various cultures and backgrounds.
- Exhibit the expected qualities of a professional health care practitioner.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between practitioners and clients, among practitioners, and between people and the health care system.
- Demonstrate a substantial level of independent, self-directed learning.
- Demonstrate the skills and knowledge for effective practice in a variety of medical, educational, and community-based settings.
The Occupational Therapy curriculum at Puget Sound places a strong emphasis on developing effective writing skills. The faculty has carefully designed a program of writing assignments throughout the curriculum to develop students' clinical reasoning, help shape their evolution as ethical health care professionals, stimulate life long habits of critically reading research, and assist students in producing documentation that meets health care industry standards. In addition, graduate students in the Occupational Therapy program conduct original research and communicate their findings in a written format that is modeled after published articles in length and style. Many of the program's graduate student research projects are subsequently published in professional journals.