Occupational Therapy Assistant - Job Description, Duties, Education, Skills, Salary, & Growth

Occupational Therapy Assistant

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Job Description

 

The role of an occupational therapy assistant is to work with an occupational therapist to assist their patients in developing and recovering activities of daily living, such as getting dressed, driving and working.

Employment opportunities for this career are projected to increase 41 percent faster than the average growth rate of other occupations.

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Responsibilities

 

Occupational therapy assistants work with assistants to carry out activities, and work with clients to perform exercises based on a treatment plan that is devised through collaboration with an occupational therapist.

The occupational therapy assistant is responsible for monitoring their patient’s activities to make sure they are performing the tasks correctly, and to provide encouragement.

They document their patients’ progress for use by the occupational therapist. If the treatment regimen is not effective or the patient is not progressing as expected, the treatment program may be adjusted by the occupational therapist.

This revision of the treatment plan is usually done in the hopes that better results will be obtained. Occupational therapy assistants are also responsible for documenting the billing of the client’s health insurance provider.

There are a number of tasks occupational therapy assistants can handle and many specialty areas. Depending on the area of focus they are responsible for:

  • Working with children

  • Assisting children to master typical childhood activities

  • Helping children with learning, playing and growing

  • Working with students who have learning disabilities

  • Assisting students with behavioral problems

  • Assisting children with disabilities, such as Down syndrome or cerebral palsy

  • Assist in the recovery from traumatic injuries

  • Work with stroke victims

  • Assist patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and their families

  • Working with patients suffering with mental health problems and their families

  • Assisting patients of all ages in learning or relearning activities of daily living

  • Helping patients learn the skills needed for a specific occupation

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Skills

 

Physical Endurance

Must be able to be physical for many hours to help their patients as needed. They must be able to bend, twist, lift, crouch, kneel, push/pull, and the agility to move quickly and ensure patient safety.

Record Keeping

Must be able to collect and integrate patient histories to solve problems and develop treatments.

Emotional Stability

Must be able to handle the emotional stress of working with impaired patients in need of compassionate health care.

Multitasking

The ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks simultaneously.

Interpersonal

Must be able to interact with patients and their families regardless of background.

Reasoning

Must be able to apply facts and principles to issues to determine conclusions and solve problems. They must use knowledge and logic to find patters in injuries and determine causes and provide solutions.

Communication

Must be able to clearly convey thoughts and ideas to gauge patient's issues and convey to them the best path to treatment.

Empathy

Must be compassionate and able to empathize with a patient's pain and other difficulties. They are able to make people feel comfortable and meet them at their emotional level to humanize themselves and let people know they care.

Patience

They must understand it takes time to see results and be willing to put in that time. They also must help their clients have patience--especially if they are trying to overcome a difficult injury.

Problem Solving

Must be able to use knowledge to gauge issues and determine the best route to autonomy.

Dexterity

Must work well with your hands and be nimble. You will be put in situations where physical therapy is a must.

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Working Conditions

 

Occupational therapy assistants can find employment opportunities in private offices of occupational therapists, in hospitals, in nursing care facilities and in assisted living centers.

The nature of the work done by occupational therapy assistants require they spend much of their time on their feet during the day. They are generally busy setting up equipment and/or working with their patients.

The typical work schedules of occupational therapy assistants may include evening assignments and weekend hours.

This will depend on the facility and whether the occupational therapy assistant is a full-time or a part-time employee.

Many health care facilities and outpatient therapy centers offer evening and weekend hours in order to accommodate their patients’ personal schedules.

 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
07.21.2017
- Associates degree required - 1-2 years experience is required MAIN FUNCTION: CARRIES OUT OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PATIENT CARE PROGRAMS OR PORTIONS THEREOF, AS PLANNED AND DIRECTED BY THE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST. REQUIRED EXPERIENCE:...
01.06.2017
The Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant administers specified evaluations, conducts general activity programs, and assists in implementing specific treatment programs under the guidance of a licensed Occupational Therapist. Minimum...
06.26.2017
Administers treatment to patients per Occupational Therapy Assistant (PTA) guidelines, communicates with Occupational Therapist with regards to patients progress and expected patient goals, provides patient documentation in accordance with...
02.15.2017
The occupational therapy assistant is responsible for conducting treatment programs established and designed by occupational therapists. This may include involvement with inpatients outpatients occupational health patients mental health patients...
04.04.2017
The Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant performs treatments as directed by the Occupational Therapist. Coordinates patient care with members of other departments and other staff within the Therapy Services Department. Documents treatments...
07.21.2017
Under the supervision of a Registered Occupational Therapist, schedules, plans and delivers prescribed occupational therapy treatments, services and home instruction to patients in such areas as daily living, functional mobility, vocational,...
06.28.2017
Unit Description Care Site Description St. Vincent Healthcare is part of SCL Health System, a faith-based, nonprofit health care organization.   Interested in making a difference? Then check us out. Our rich heritage and mission, and...
07.21.2017
HSL specializes in geriatric physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology. Our therapists help seniors realize their full potential at all phases of life so that the senior years can be lived to their fullest. We are...
07.21.2017
- Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant- UCMC- Psychiatry (042933) Job Description Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant- UCMC- Psychiatry(Job Number: 042933) Description Primary Purpose: Implement occupational therapy treatment...
07.10.2017
The Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant is responsible for providing occupational therapy services to patients in accordance with professional and organizational standards of treatment as prescribed by the attending physician .Models...
07.21.2017
East Alabama Medical Center is currently seeking a per diem Therapist to join our rehab team! This is an exciting opportunity for a Therapist to work in a growing healthcare facility. We are looking for someone that can grow the business even...
07.19.2017
Position Summary The Registered Occupational Therapist provides patient care based upon a total assessment and written evaluation that is appropriate for the patients need and medical condition and provides such care in compliance with the...
06.21.2017
To conduct general activity programs and assist in implementing specific treatment/patient care programs for patients and patient groups following initial evaluation by the Occupational Therapist.
07.21.2017
Performs treatments, provides exercise instruction and demonstration, conducts general activity programs, and assists in implementing specific treatment programs under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist. Reviews pertinent data...
06.28.2017
Unit Description Care Site Description St. Vincent Healthcare is part of SCL Health System, a faith-based, nonprofit health care organization.   Interested in making a difference? Then check us out. Our rich heritage and mission, and...
  1. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Plymouth, MA Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital - Plymouth
    - Associates degree required - 1-2 years experience is required MAIN FUNCTION: CARRIES OUT OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PATIENT CARE PROGRAMS OR PORTIONS THEREOF, AS PLANNED AND DIRECTED BY THE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST. REQUIRED EXPERIENCE:...
  2. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Hendersonville, NC Pardee Hospital
    The Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant administers specified evaluations, conducts general activity programs, and assists in implementing specific treatment programs under the guidance of a licensed Occupational Therapist. Minimum...
  3. Occupational Therapy Assistant Nantucket, MA Nantucket Cottage Hospital
    Administers treatment to patients per Occupational Therapy Assistant (PTA) guidelines, communicates with Occupational Therapist with regards to patients progress and expected patient goals, provides patient documentation in accordance with...
  4. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (Casual) Chillicothe, OH Adena Health System
    The occupational therapy assistant is responsible for conducting treatment programs established and designed by occupational therapists. This may include involvement with inpatients outpatients occupational health patients mental health patients...
  5. OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT CERTIFIED (COTA) Osceola, IA Clarke County Hospital
    The Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant performs treatments as directed by the Occupational Therapist. Coordinates patient care with members of other departments and other staff within the Therapy Services Department. Documents treatments...
  6. Certified OT Assistant - Occupational Therapy Baton Rouge, LA Baton Rouge General Medical Center
    Under the supervision of a Registered Occupational Therapist, schedules, plans and delivers prescribed occupational therapy treatments, services and home instruction to patients in such areas as daily living, functional mobility, vocational,...
  7. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant - COTA Billings, MT St Vincent - SCL Health
    Unit Description Care Site Description St. Vincent Healthcare is part of SCL Health System, a faith-based, nonprofit health care organization.   Interested in making a difference? Then check us out. Our rich heritage and mission, and...
  8. Occupational Therapy Assistant Roslindale, MA Hebrew SeniorLife
    HSL specializes in geriatric physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology. Our therapists help seniors realize their full potential at all phases of life so that the senior years can be lived to their fullest. We are...
  9. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant- UCMC- Psychiatry Cincinnati, OH University of Cincinnati Medical Center
    - Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant- UCMC- Psychiatry (042933) Job Description Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant- UCMC- Psychiatry(Job Number: 042933) Description Primary Purpose: Implement occupational therapy treatment...
  10. Occupational Therapist/ Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (Full Time) Job Memphis, TN Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
    The Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant is responsible for providing occupational therapy services to patients in accordance with professional and organizational standards of treatment as prescribed by the attending physician .Models...
  11. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant- Corporate Travel Therapy Opelika, AL East Alabama Medical Center
    East Alabama Medical Center is currently seeking a per diem Therapist to join our rehab team! This is an exciting opportunity for a Therapist to work in a growing healthcare facility. We are looking for someone that can grow the business even...
  12. Occupational Therapist - Occupational Therapy Lawton, OK Southwestern Medical Center
    Position Summary The Registered Occupational Therapist provides patient care based upon a total assessment and written evaluation that is appropriate for the patients need and medical condition and provides such care in compliance with the...
  13. Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Gastonia, NC CaroMont Health
    To conduct general activity programs and assist in implementing specific treatment/patient care programs for patients and patient groups following initial evaluation by the Occupational Therapist.
  14. Occupational Therapy Assistant - PRN Orangeburg, SC The Regional Medical Center
    Performs treatments, provides exercise instruction and demonstration, conducts general activity programs, and assists in implementing specific treatment programs under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist. Reviews pertinent data...
  15. Occupational Therapist - OT - Occupational Therapy Billings, MT St Vincent - SCL Health
    Unit Description Care Site Description St. Vincent Healthcare is part of SCL Health System, a faith-based, nonprofit health care organization.   Interested in making a difference? Then check us out. Our rich heritage and mission, and...