"You are always looking for new and creative ways to help clients address their day-to-day challenges. It is a lifelong profession." That quote from OTA Jennifer F., who also is an occupational therapy assistant school instructor, sums up the variety, excitement, and joy of becoming an OTA professional.
For those who want to interact daily with people, like variety in their work day, and desire a career with a healthy future, becoming an occupational therapy assistant can be a very wise decision.
It's About Variety (What You Do and Where You'll Do it)
One thing you'll see quickly in occupational therapy assistant school is how becoming an OTA is way more than helping people get back to work. In reality, it's about helping people of all ages and different backgrounds get back to doing their desired everyday activities.
A child who has fallen behind developmentally may be frustrated because they struggle to accomplish daily living activities ranging from getting dressed to staying organized. An OTA is there to observe, guide, and make suggestions, such as how to break down a task like getting ready for school into a series of steps.
A senior adult recovering from hip surgery needs to know how to get in and out of bed without putting undue stress on a body that's healing.
A teenager who is challenged with a mental health condition may feel alone and isolated, so the OTA might carry out a series of activities to improve that person's self-esteem and increase their confidence in social situations.
Variety also comes with the work setting, each requiring different skills and knowledge. OTAs meet their clients where they are, including
- Outpatient clinics
- Assisted-living centers
- In the home.
It's Exciting to be on a Health Care Team
In occupational therapy assistant school, you'll learn how an OTA teams up with an Occupational Therapist (OT). Together, the OT and the OTA make for a powerful partnership.
Typically, an OT develops the treatment plan – often with recommendations from the OTA. The OTA guides the client in the day-to-day activities to ensure each client is on-track toward their goals. Plus, if an activity isn't productive, OTAs have the creative freedom to make changes and adaptions.
You'll Enjoy Helping People Reach Their Potential
Those who are passionate about their work as an occupational therapy assistant find that it's both financially rewarding and personally satisfying. Just imagine how you'll feel knowing you helped someone in need do more than they thought, become a little stronger, and feel more like themselves than they did the day before.
You'll Like Where the Occupational Therapy Assistant School Takes You
OTAs have one of the best health care support jobs in the U.S. It's a growing career, too, because occupational therapy is not only about enhancing the lives of others. Introducing OT therapy as soon as problems are known leads to better results. Research is showing occupational therapy usage is cutting health care costs by reducing hospital re-admission rates.
An OTA's importance in today's health care economy shows up in OTA compensation and in the number of jobs available. According to the latest stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for an experienced OTA is $59,310. The career growth outlook for OTAs is trending twice that of the average for other occupations.
Welcome to Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC)
When you're looking for an occupational therapy assistant school, look to Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), a private, nonprofit, health care focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas.
CUKC's Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree can be completed in just two years.
Reasons to become an OTA at Cleveland University-Kansas City:
- Eight-week courses immerse you in your class subjects
- On-campus, hands-on instruction from field-proven faculty
- 3-4 weeks of fieldwork to build your skills and confidence
- Small class sizes for personalized instruction
- Start your OTA education in spring, summer or fall.