What is the role of an occupational therapist assistant?
In present times, there are several reasons to become an OTA or Occupational Therapy Assistant. A balanced work environment, exciting job description, great, pay and well-respected title in the healthcare sector are among them. Moreover, it is rewarding work with the chance to improve the quality of life of people. As you know that an OTA’s role is to help others, you may have the question what is the role of an occupational therapist assistant, and how do they help? This blog covers all this below.
The occupational therapy assisting career is rapidly growing, and the employment rate will rise even more in the coming years. Furthermore, it is the fastest track you can take into the medical domain and requires only two or so years of schooling before landing a job. But before going for this job, you should know about what is the role of an occupational therapist assistant.
What is the Work of an OTA?
Occupational therapy assistants support patients in developing, recovering, enhancing, and maintaining the skills essential for daily living and working, like getting dressed, driving, etc. OTAs have to work under a registered Occupational Therapists or OTs. However, they are directly involved with the treatment plans of the patients. Regularly, the OTAs access the condition of patients, monitor their progress, and coordinate therapy through a multitude of remedial activities.
Their work involves dealing with patients of all ages in every type of scenario. As an OTA, you have to help patients rehabilitate from an injury, live with a disability, or manage illness. You may work with children aiding them in enhancing their motor skills or assist elderly patients in adjusting to the natural aging process. Each day in the life of an OTA is different, which is why many love their work. By reading further, you will know exactly about what is the role of an occupational therapist assistant.
The job description of an OTA can differ from place to place, but mostly it involves:
- Helping patients to do their therapeutic activities like stretching or other support exercises.
- Motivating patients to finish activities and tasks as per their treatment plan.
- Leading young people with developmental disabilities through play activities promotes socialization and coordination. For instance, picking up small foods and consuming them, matching games, building block towers, etc., are some activities.
- Teaching patients about using special equipment in their time of need. For example, if a person suffers from Parkinson’s disease, an OTA has to train them on the way the patient can use a device to make eating easier.
- Recording the progress of patients throughout the treatment and report back to the OTs.
- Preparing treatment areas before appointments, such as setting up therapy equipment. You may also have to clean the treatment areas and equipment between different appointments.
- Occasionally performing some administrative tasks like scheduling appointments or aiding patients with their insurance forms.
- Instructing the patients, their families, and caregivers about carrying out the techniques and skills of the occupational therapy treatment.
- Transporting patients, if necessary, involving support to the patient’s weight, lifting, etc.
For someone who is bedridden due to injury or chronic illness, an OTA will coordinate a plan involving stretching, progressive movements, etc. If someone with an emotional or learning disability is there, an OTA has to help them to regain their motor skills. The job of OTA is to ensure that patients perform their therapies and activities correctly. In case an OTA does not see desired results in the patient, the therapist and OTA will work together to adjust the patient’s treatment plan.
Where can Occupational Therapy Assistants Work?
Now that you understand about what is the role of an occupational therapist assistant, you should also know different settings where the OTAs can work. The occupational therapy graduates can find their careers in:
- Assisted Living Facilities
- Home Healthcare
- Nursing Homes
- Rehabilitation Centers
- Alternative Community Settings
An occupational therapy assistant helps people having injuries, illnesses, and disabilities to overcome these issues and recover to their normal health. Along with that, there is much more task an OTA has to perform from helping to prepare a treatment plan to notice the progress in patients. An OTA’s work is surely not an easy task, but it is a rewarding job where one can improve someone’s life.