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What Is Occupational Therapy Assistant

Career Profile: Occupational Therapy Assistant

I Want That Job!: Physical Therapist Assistant
Jumpstart Your Career in Occupational Therapy With Cambridge

Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology offers students interested in a career in occupational therapy the Occupational Therapy Assistant program. During this 2-year program, students learn the skills needed to achieve licensing and a successful career.

What Does an Occupational Therapist Assistant Do?

Occupational therapy assistants spend their days working alongside an occupational therapist. They help provide treatments to assist individuals with disabilities to learn how to function independently in their homes and communities. They help patients regain the skills they may have lost due to injury and help them rebuild their health and self-esteem.

OTAs work in a wide range of practice areas including pediatrics, health and wellness, mental health, rehabilitation and for the workforce. From lower back injuries to helping children develop their motor skills, occupational therapist assistants assist patients with many unique needs each day.

What Certifications or Degrees Do I Need to Become an OTA?

To get started towards a career as an occupational therapist assistant, youll need to complete an accredited occupational therapy program such as the occupational therapy program offered here at Cambridge. The curriculum you choose should include courses such as:

  • Occupational therapy principles

Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Description Sample

With this Occupational Therapy Assistant job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Occupational Therapy Assistant role.

Job Summary

Our company is seeking an Occupational Therapy Assistant to work with our team of occupational therapists with the goal of helping disabled or injured patients develop various skills and positive behaviors to complete tasks for daily living. The ideal candidate will work under the direction of an occupational therapist to provide rehabilitation treatments to patients. To ensure we provide quality care to patients, you will also participate in occasional meetings and conferences, utilization review, and location-specific training programs.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist patients with completing exercises and other drills as directed by the occupational therapist
  • Instruct and inform caregivers and family members regarding home health care programs and home exercise regimen
  • Document and report patient activity, problems, and progress according to company protocols
  • Adhere to company and federal regulations regarding privacy policies for patients

Requirements and Qualifications

Occupational Therapy Assistant Overview

Help individuals restore their ability to do the things they need, want or are expected to do. Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant and join an exciting and rewarding field.

Occupational Therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities . Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and preventor live better withinjury, illness or disability.

This two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree is a full or part-time evening and weekend program designed to prepare its graduates to apply for certification and licensure as an occupational therapy assistant and to practice as an entry level generalist. The program teaches its students to develop skills to successfully work in a variety of health care settings including: hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, mental health facilities and community centers.

Occupational Therapy Assistants work collaboratively with the Occupational Therapists in providing high-quality, cost-effective services, promoting health and wellness by meeting societys occupational needs .

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Reasons To See An Occupational Therapy Assistant

Reasons why you might see an occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant include:

Youâre Concerned About Your Childâs Development

Occupational therapy assistants work with young children to improve their fine and gross motor skills so that they can perform regular activities such as climbing stairs, playing catch, hopping, writing, and more. They can also help children who arenât meeting developmental milestones, such as crawling and walking.

Your Child Has ADHD

If your child has ADHD, they may have trouble with tasks such as staying focused and completing tasks. An occupational therapy assistant works with them to improve their attention, time management, impulse, and social skills.

Youâre Experiencing Chronic Pain

Chronic pain, such as an old injury or arthritis, can make it difficult to perform daily living activities. An occupational therapy assistant guides you through various exercises to improve your comfort and ability to do different tasks.

You Were Involved in an Accident

Accidents at home or work can leave you in a lot of pain. They can also make it difficult to perform normal daily living and work activities. With the help of an occupational therapy assistant, you can regain strength, range of motion, and the ability to perform regular tasks.

Youâre Developing Memory Problems

What Do Occupational Therapy Assistants Do

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational therapy assistants work under the direction of occupational therapists to provide rehabilitative services to patients with physical, emotional, or developmental impairments. They help patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working through the therapeutic use of everyday activities.

Following a treatment plan developed by an occupational therapist, OTAs may assist patients with activities and exercises designed to improve strength and endurance, balance and coordination, mobility, hand and leg functions, self-care skills, and judgment and problem solving abilities in daily life.

OTAs encourage a patients progress and may monitor and chart an individuals activities to make sure the exercises and tasks are performed correctly. OTAs report any issuses or concerns to the supervising occupational therapist.

For more information, go to: .

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Under Clear Instruction From Otr

Under the clear instruction of a licensed OTR, the OTA may:

  • specified in their care plan
  • Assist with the planning and implementation of individualized or grouptherapeutic programs under the direction of the Occupational Therapist
  • Supervise the practice of established functional programs such as personalhygiene, wheelchair management, recreational activities or leisure

What Is An Occupational Therapy Assistant

Discover the path to becoming an occupational therapy assistant, job opportunities available for OTAs upon graduation, salary, and career progression.

Occupational therapy assistants work under the direction of an occupational therapist to provide a treatment plan for each patient. This may include activities such as teaching a patient the proper way to move from a bed into a wheelchair, do therapeutic exercises, or complete daily living tasks. Occupational therapy assistants may also work with those with developmental disabilities, teaching them skills to be more independent.

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Occupational Employment And Wage Statistics

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

What Does A Occupational Therapy Assistant Do

Day at Work: Occupational Therapist

An occupational therapy assistant is directly involved in giving therapy to people needing to improve or recover the skills needed for day to day living after an illness or injury. They work under the supervision of an occupational therapists and assist patients in their treatments such as stretching and other therapeutic activities.

Watch a video to learn what an occupational therapy assistant does.

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Occupational Therapy Assistant Duties & Responsibilities

This job requires candidates to be able to perform duties that include the following:

  • Treat patients by using therapeutic and self-care activities designed to improve function under the direction of the occupational therapist
  • Monitor a patient’s activities to make sure they are performing them correctly and to offer encouragement
  • Contribute to meetings and case conferences to ensure coordinated and comprehensive care plans for patients
  • Document patients weekly progress in appropriate records
  • Maintain the office treatment areas, equipment, and supply inventory
  • Instruct patients, their families and any other caregivers in skills and techniques of the patient’s treatment program, under supervision of the Occupational Therapist

Can Occupational Therapy Assistants Become An Occupational Therapists

While it depends on the program and courses that you have completed, you can advance from Occupational Therapy Assistant to Occupational Therapist . To become an OT, you must complete a master’s program in occupational therapy. You can choose between a Master of Occupational Therapy or a Doctor of Occupational Therapy. Alternatively, bridge programs allow an OTA to obtain a OT degree directly. These programs vary on their admissions requirements and classroom styles. After you obtain a degree, you will need to pass the National Board of Certification of Occupational Therapy examination in order to practice in the United States. State licensing requirements will vary.

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Job Description Of An Occupational Therapy Assistant

An occupational therapy assistant works with occupational therapists in developing and implementing treatments for patients who are recovering from an illness or injury. They assist them with improving their skills that are needed in their daily routines, such as, balance, standing or sitting, stretching and other forms of exercise.

They teach patients how to use certain equipment that may help them improve their mobility or manage more easily. They record the patients developments and provide the information to the occupational therapist. He or she helps children that have developmental challenges or disabilities to achieve socialization and coordination skills through therapeutic play activities.

The occupational therapy assistant educates patients on how to safely maneuver in or out of bed or a wheelchair. An important part of this job is to motivate and encourage patients to overcome their challenges. Some work may also include routine clerical work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a faster than average growth in this career field due in part to the baby boom and the aging population.

What Are The Primary Duties And Responsibilities Of An Occupational Therapy Assistant

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Occupational therapy assistants are health care professionals who work under the supervision of occupational therapists to help patients recover from injuries and enhance their physical health to perform daily activities effectively. The occupational therapist will diagnose a patient and prescribe a treatment plan. The occupational therapy assistant will then work one-on-one with the patient to perform therapeutic activities and exercises.

Occupational therapy assistants may also complete basic clerical duties such as appointment scheduling, answering phone calls and emails, collecting patientsâ medical history, and ordering medical supplies.

An occupational therapy assistant supports the occupational therapist with:

  • Therapeutic activities

  • Encouraging patients and ensuring they are doing their therapy exercises properly

  • Teaching patients how to manage their treatment program

  • Documenting a patientâs progress as required by the occupational therapist

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What Is An Occupational Therapy Aide

Occupational therapy involves rehabilitating individuals who have lost their ability to perform activities of daily living due to an illness, injury, or disability. Unlike an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant, an occupational therapy aide does not provide direct patient care. Instead, they help facilitate treatment by providing support for those who do.

  • Acronym: OT aide

Program Mission Goals And Outcomes

Program Mission

The mission of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program is to provide a specialized associate degree program to prepare students to become Occupational Therapy Assistants working in partnership with the Occupational Therapist. Through a combination of didactic, laboratory, and fieldwork experiences, the program emphasizes applying knowledge to the provision of occupational therapy services to individuals who strive to live a productive life.

Program Goals

  • The OTA associate degree program will provide appropriate learning opportunities for students to acquire the theoretical knowledge, applicable skills, and attitude necessary to function as an entry-level occupational therapy assistant.
  • The Occupation Therapy Assistant program will prepare students to sit for the national certification examination.
  • The Occupation Therapy Assistant associate degree program will endeavor to instill in the student a sense of commitment to the occupational therapy professions core values and ethics.
  • Program Outcomes

    Graduates of the Occupation Therapy Assistant program will be able to:

  • Respect all people and cultures and render occupational therapy services to clients in various environments for all populations, groups, and individuals seeking services.
  • Function as an advocate and partner in the healthcare team, including developing professional relationships with recipients of service and professional and non-professional caregivers.


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    How An Occupational Therapy Aide Works

    Most OT aides work in occupational therapists’ offices, nursing care facilities, and hospitals. Although their actual duties may vary depending on their employer, they usually include:

    • Setting up therapy equipment
    • Taking inventory of equipment and materials to ensure adequate supply
    • Performing clerical tasks, including filing, scheduling appointments, and answering calls and emails
    • Helping patients with billing and insurance forms

    Often, occupational therapy aides need to be able to lift, transfer, and transport patients safely. They also need to be able to handle medical equipment and work with technology such as computers and software systems.

    Occupational therapy aides earned a median annual salary of $29,230 or $16.50 per hour in 2019.

    What Is Occupational Therapy

    Occupational therapy for children

    Occupational therapy practitioners provide services directed at enabling people to engage in the tasks and activities that are relevant to their daily lives.

    A toddler’s occupation is play. Play encourages growth, exploration and development of social and cognitive skills. When a child is unable to engage in play due to a physical or emotional limitation, their ability to grow and learn may be limited.

    Through the use of adapted toys and games, the child is able to engage in their occupation of play. The occupation of a school-age child is learning. When a physical or emotional limitation exists, their ability to engage in learning is limited.

    Occupation for an adult with cardiac problems may include learning to conserve energy while doing daily activities. An occupation for the elderly may be encouraging and promoting participation in activities as well as maintaining personal independence.

    Occupational Therapy provides service to those individuals whose abilities to cope with their occupations of living are threatened or impaired by developmental deficits, the aging process, physical injury or illness, or psychological and social disability.

    The COTA’s responsibilities include providing purposeful activity to restore lost physical, cognitive and psychosocial skills, training in the use of assisting devices, and adapting environments and occupations to enable successful and safe performance.


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    Harlan & Rita Temple Scholarship

    The Harlan and Rita Temple Scholarship is available to students in good standing enrolled in an accredited professional occupational therapy or occupational therapy assistant degree program within the state of South Dakota. Preferences will be given for students who are residents of South Dakota and students who are members of the South Dakota Occupational Therapy Association. This scholarship was established by Harlan and Rita Temple, proud residents of South Dakota, and their friends who value the important work of OT and its significant impact on the lives of people and their families.

    This scholarship is awarded annually by the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. Temple/SDOTA Scholarship application will open in the summer of each year at the following web address.

    Is Occupational Therapy Assistant A Good Job

    4.2/5OTAgood careerOccupational therapy assistantsjobfull answer

    According to the BLS, employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase 41 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for other occupations. Two years of hard work at an accredited OT assistant school and you could be well on your way to starting a new career.

    Similarly, what jobs can you get with an occupational therapy assistant degree? 6 Great OTA Career Opportunities

    • Schools. Many schools hire OTAs to help students adapt to the classroom.
    • Rehabilitation centers. Physical therapy is not the same as occupational therapy , but OTAs frequently work alongside PTs in a rehab setting.
    • Skilled nursing facility.

    Likewise, people ask, do occupational therapy assistants make good money?

    Occupational Therapy Assistants made a median salary of $60,220 in 2018. The best-paid 25 percent made $71,820 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $50,510.

    What is the starting salary for an occupational therapy assistant?

    An entry-level Occupational Therapy Assistant with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $24.23 based on 192 salaries.

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    How To Become An Occupational Therapy Assistant

    An occupational therapy assistant needs an associates degree from an accredited therapy assistant program. You can find these on the American Occupational Therapy Association website. These OTA programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education .

    OTA programs are usually 2 years in length and offered at technical or community colleges. Coursework includes psychology, biological sciences, and pediatric health and one must complete at least 16 weeks of fieldwork to gain practical work experience. Schools usually set this up for you during your program studies.

    In addition, you must pass a board certification exam to practice and become licensed in the state you reside in or plan to work in. The National Board for Occupational Therapy offers the certification exam. However, you should check with your states office to see what requirements they have to become licensed. Many schools have this information, but each state varies slightly.

    Occupational Therapy Assistant Requirements:

    Physical Therapy Assistant Schools In Texas
    • Graduate from an ACOTE accredited occupational therapy assistant program.
    • License or certification as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in the relevant state.
    • Compassionate with excellent interpersonal skills.
    • Good working knowledge of occupational therapy practices, procedures, and legal regulations.
    • Good organizational skills and attention to detail.
    • Strong attention to detail.

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    Becoming An Occupational Therapy Aide Or Assistant

    An associates degree is needed from an accredited occupational therapy assistant program for an individual to qualify for licensing and to work as an occupational therapy assistant in most U.S. states. You can study in an online OTA program as well.

    Although an associates degree license is needed to work as an OTA, on the other hand, the occupational therapy aides usually only have a requirement of high school diploma or equivalent to qualify to work.

    You can learn the exact steps to become an OTA here.


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