If you’re interested in a career working in the occupational therapy field, then you’ll need to research the occupational therapy assistant schools that offer accredited training programs. Occupational therapy assistant schools will feature the associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs for this field, which will include clinical experiences and will also help you to prepare for the national certification exam, however, certification for the OTA is done on a voluntary basis.
The OT will work with people who suffer from short or long-term disabilities or injuries and they will assist them by helping to improve their mobility, provide pain management, and develop rehab plans of care. The OTA will help the occupational therapist to carry out all of these duties and will often spend more time with the patients and help to determine if the plan of care is effective. In order to work in this field, the minimum education requirements for OTA is the associate’s degree.
During the first year of study at occupational therapy assistant schools, the student will take classes in the fundamentals of health, in addition to the completion of general education courses. During the final year of study at occupational therapy schools a student will complete supervised clinical work and core OTA classes. A student will also develop the interpersonal and critical thinking skills that are necessary for this position.
To qualify for enrollment a program applicant will need to have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Enrollment requirements will vary and can also include a history working in the healthcare field.
Through clinical work, labs and classwork, the student will learn the techniques and methods commonly used to assist patients. They will also work in a supervised healthcare environment. The program curriculum will typically consist of such topics as professional issues in OT, rehab methods and theories, physiology and anatomy, developmental disabilities, OT management, and human development and growth.
Licensure Information for the Occupational Therapy Assistant
While the licensure and certification requirements for this position will vary from state to state, the majority of states will require the OTA to be registered, certified or licensed. The OTA who works in schools or for early intervention programs may have additional education requirements. The NBCOT administers the national certification exam, in addition to regulating accredited training programs. Credentials for this position will need to be renewed every four to six years, depending on the state you reside in.
According to the BLS, this healthcare position is expected to increase in demand by more than thirty percent within the next three years. The growth of this position is due to the aging population and the advancements made in treatments for this field.