According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational therapy assistants help clients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working. Occupational therapy assistants are directly involved in providing therapy to clients, while occupational therapy aides typically perform support activities. Both assistants and aides work under the direction of occupational therapists.
Persons interested in pursuing a career as an occupational therapy assistant are required to complete two years of higher education to earn an associate’s degree. Before entering the work field, the next step is for the practitioner to pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) COTA Exam in order to become fully certified.
Becoming an occupational therapy assistant is a great way to either begin a career with plenty room for advancement or have a fulfilling and rewarding career spent helping others reach their healthcare goals. For occupational therapy assistants who want to further their career, they can continue their education to become an occupational therapist. Infinity Rehab also offers advancement for occupational therapy assistants to take on management roles as Directors of Rehab.
Occupational therapy assistants work with a range of clients from newborns to the elderly. They work side-by-side occupational therapists and each strives to meet the plan-of-care goals as determined by the occupational therapist. For example, an occupational therapy assistant will help a client recovering from a stroke to learn how to use utensils to eat, or how to use a wheelchair and navigate through the hallways of the client’s home. The goals will vary from each client, but the mission is the same: to improve the client’s quality of life and empower them to perform daily activities.