Earning your occupational therapy assistant (OTA) degree takes dedication, and a 2 year college program flies by faster than you think. As you focus on your studies, here are 6 things you don’t want to miss along the way!
1. Be ready to gain knowledge and learn therapy techniques quickly.
Remember, you’re choosing an occupational therapy assistant (OTA) degree in an accelerated 2 year college program. Because of the pace of learning, you don’t want to fall behind.
Take the time to know and use all the resources available to you at your university’s library, check on tutoring options if needed, and know your instructor’s expectations for every class and lab.
2. Join – or form – a study group.
No matter how well you think you study by yourself, participating in study groups will make a huge difference as you work toward your OTA degree.
Interacting with other students will give answers and perspectives you wouldn’t get on your own.
3. Shadow an OTA professional.
Get the inside story on everything OTAs do. Shadowing an experienced OTA offers opportunities to see how OTAs apply different strategies and techniques. Take the initiative to go beyond your required fieldwork, and learn from as many people in the profession as possible.
4. Read up on how to apply creativity.
Experienced OTAs say having a creative mindset is vitally important. There are no typical occupational therapy clients.
What encourages a grade-schooler may not encourage an adult recovering from a severe injury. A tried-and-true textbook technique may not be achievable for a senior adult with a limited range of motion.
5. Look for student memberships in professional organizations.
For example, the AOTA has a reduced price for an AOTA membership while you’re in school and a reduced-cost category for new OTA program graduates.
6. Prepare early for the national certification exam.
The key to an OTA position, once you’ve completed your OTA degree, is do well on the certifying exam administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).
Preparing well for this comprehensive four-hour exam means starting early in your 2 year college experience. The website for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) offers plenty of good content to help you, including practice tests that are similar to the actual NBCOT exam and insider information about doing well on your Level I and Level II fieldwork experiences.
The OTA Degree at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC)
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, health care focused university located in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kansas. CUKC specializes in health care degree programs through its College of Chiropractic and its College of Health Sciences. Overland Park is a city known for livability, affordability, and safety.
The OTA program in the CUKC College of Health Sciences leads to an Associate of Applied Science degree (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant. This 2 year college degree program prepares students to become Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA).
Eight-week courses immerse you into your class subjects, hands-on instruction is the norm, and completing the OTA degree is accomplished in as little as two years. Small class sizes ensure personalized instruction, and there are three class starts per year: spring, summer, or fall.
Request more information here about the CUKC occupational therapy assistant degree today. You can also download a free ebook about the OTA degree program and the future of the profession: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.