PTA or OTA?

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Confusedstudent in Valdosta, Georgia

29 months ago

Can any one tell me the differences between PTA and OTA. Job duties, pay, and which field has more jobs available. See at first I was thinking pta, but now im thinking ota. Confused :( dont know which to choose from. Help!

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gmc in Spring Valley, New York

29 months ago

I was in the same boat recently. I finally chose COTA because my goal is to work with special-needs children, preferably in the school system, and there are more COTA jobs available for that. I also like how OT addresses physical AND emotional/psychological issues in patients.

During my observation hours, one facility I went to offered both PT and OT to nursing home patients. I spoke to a PTA who said she was thinking about becoming a COTA because she felt it was a more long-term career (she said the job duties of a PTA, especially in a skilled nursing facility, have been hard on her body).

However, a friend of mine is a PTA and he loves it. He works in an out-patient physical therapy office (so very little lifting, lots of work with electrical stim pads, ultrasound, etc), has nice hours, and makes about $46K per year.

For me, the thing I like about COTA is like there are bridge programs in case I want to become an OTR one day. With PTA there are, unfortunately, not many (if any) ways to become PT unless you start from scratch.

Do some Google and YouTube video searches to really find out the differences between COTA and PTA. There's lots of information that helped me make my decision. Also, look at your school's program and see what you'd be studying for each program and which courses you like better (COTA's study psychology which I'm really into). Good luck!

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confusedstudentinUK in Liverpool, United Kingdom

29 months ago

Hi my partner has been offered a job in Australia, we currently live in the uk,
i have just finished a diploma an humanities and social sciences and continued on to university to persue my Nursing degree.
Although now we are thinking of moving to australia and i love the idea of being
a CTA. I'm not sure if my qualifications are equvilent..... and if not how long would i have to study and how much would it cost?
I have 8 years experience working in hospitals, people with learning disabilites, nursing homes and so on. I have so many questions and i would be very grateful if anyone could help.

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Lizbeth in San Diego, California

19 months ago

gmc in Spring Valley, New York said: I was in the same boat recently. I finally chose COTA because my goal is to work with special-needs children , preferably in the school system, and there are more COTA jobs available for that. I also like how OT addresses physical AND emotional/psychological issues in patients.

During my observation hours, one facility I went to offered both PT and OT to nursing home patients. I spoke to a PTA who said she was thinking about becoming a COTA because she felt it was a more long-term career (she said the job duties of a PTA, especially in a skilled nursing facility, have been hard on her body).

However, a friend of mine is a PTA and he loves it. He works in an out-patient physical therapy office (so very little lifting, lots of work with electrical stim pads, ultrasound, etc), has nice hours, and makes about $46K per year.

For me, the thing I like about COTA is like there are bridge programs in case I want to become an OTR one day. With PTA there are, unfortunately, not many (if any) ways to become PT unless you start from scratch.

Do some Google and YouTube video searches to really find out the differences between COTA and PTA. There's lots of information that helped me make my decision. Also, look at your school's program and see what you'd be studying for each program and which courses you like better (COTA's study psychology which I'm really into). Good luck!

I have a question, I am 29 years old, I would like to know if I need to lift a lot of patients?, I can lift arms, legs, etc but the whole body just by myself, that makes me thing about that. I can lift patients for 100 pounds but no more. I heard that CNA do all of the lifting part is that true? How many pounds I need to lift?

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DWhite626 in Costa Mesa, California

18 months ago

In general you would need to be able to lift a good amount of weight as a Cota. That also depends on the field you get into(pediatrics, geri, etc). I'd steer clear of this field. There are not many jobs out there, and the ones that are jobs, are all PRN. It is not fun waiting for a call to be able to work everyday. Unfortunately, those are 90% of the jobs: prn. Even then, there isn't that much work to begin with. I'd go into another field If I were you. Goodluck in what you choose to do.

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