What does an Occupational Therapy Assistant do?
Occupational Therapy Assistants are healthcare professionals who work directly under Occupational Therapists to help patients recover from injuries and enhance their physical health to effectively perform daily activities. When an Occupational Therapist diagnoses a patient and prescribes a treatment plan, the Occupational Therapy Assistant will work one-on-one with the patient to perform various therapeutic activities and exercises that improve their health. The Occupational Therapy Assistant will take note of the patient’s progress and will report it to the Occupational Therapist.
Many Occupational Therapy Assistants also complete basic clerical duties like scheduling appointments, answering phone calls and emails, collecting patients’ medical history and ordering medical supplies.
Occupational Therapy Assistant skills and qualifications
A good Occupational Therapy Assistant will need certain skills and qualifications. Candidates often learn these skills through life experience or work experience. They include the following:
- Attention to detail
- Interpersonal skills
- Physical strength
- Ability to maintain confidentiality
- Communication skills
Occupational Therapy Assistant salary expectations
The average salary for an Occupational Therapy Assistant is $29.09 per hour. This salary may vary based on geographic location, specific requirements of the role and the candidate’s education and experience level.
Occupational Therapy Assistant education and training requirements
Required education for an Occupational Therapy Assistant includes an Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) recognized associate degree. This degree usually takes about two years to complete, and the course combines classroom study with clinical fieldwork. Most states require an Occupational Therapy Assistant to have a license. Depending on the state the position is in, it is either called a license, registration, authorization or certification. But regardless of the title, an Occupational Therapy Assistant must be accredited by ACOTE and must have passed the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant exam.
Occupational Therapy Assistant experience requirements
Job experience for this position may vary. It can include a certain number of years in the workforce working with a certain age group like children, young adults or older people. It could also include experience in administration, planning events and activities, designing programs or other similar experiences. The type or length of experience will vary depending on the independence level required of the Occupational Therapy Assistant.
Job description samples for similar positions
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