Welcome to part two of a six-part blog series that dives into the world of occupational therapy careers and those who work directly with individuals affected by various challenges: the occupational therapy assistant!
Blog Series Part 2: OTAs Encourage Health & Wellness
In Part 2 of this blog series, the topic is how OTAs are involved on both sides of the health and wellness equation, generally referred to as the profession’s Health and Wellness practice area. Sure, those choosing an occupational therapy career help people counter ongoing chronic and acute health conditions daily, but they also use education, insight, and instruction to assist individuals toward an improved quality of life. Imagine the satisfaction of a profession that helps people do the things they want and need to do across their lifespan!
How an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career Delivers Help and Hope
In an occupational therapy assistant career, OTAs are the ones finding techniques, methods, and adaptive tools that assist with all kinds of challenges someone might have. OTAs carry out the occupational therapy plan, making modifications if needed to ensure progress. (Go here for more about how the roles of Occupational Therapists and OTAs differ.)
It’s exciting to know OTAs are at the forefront of responding to societal changes in health and wellness. In fact, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has identified three “emerging areas” within the Health and Wellness practice area. These emerging areas are: chronic disease management, preventive care, and obesity.
Chronic Disease Management
The treatment and care of chronic health conditions take up nearly 70 percent of the nation’s healthcare budget. That makes actively managing those conditions – the act of designing and putting action plans in place – increasingly important.
Those in an occupational therapy assistant career, and especially OTAs, are taking the lead in showing people how to make engaging in desired activities easier, less painful, less fatiguing, and more enjoyable.
Many health problems can be prevented through education and knowledge. Because OTAs often develop a bond with the individuals they work with, OTAs are in a unique position to discuss healthier habits and routines that may prevent future problems.
Today, obesity affects one of every five people in the U.S., according to the Center for Disease Control. Like others in participating in occupational therapy careers, OTAs can help counteract the effects of obesity not only through their interaction with the individual but also by their involvement in activities or educational programs within their community.
OTAs Guide the Way to Better Health
All solutions are based on a careful assessment of an individual’s strengths, preferences, and needs.
Here are some examples of how OTA expertise in this particular Health and Wellness practice area makes a difference in the lives of others:
OTAs Have a Satisfying Future
Working in the Health and Wellness practice area of OT means your occupational therapy assistant career could take you to all kinds of work settings. You could be assisting with a companywide injury and wellness programs, staffing an anger management seminar at a juvenile detention center, or helping a class for caregivers with tactics to avoid career burnout.
It’s also reassuring to know the health of the OTA profession is good, too. The Bureau of Labor Statistics sees OTA job growth increasing 24 percent from 2016 to 2026.
Occupational Therapy Careers at CUKC
The two-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree Program at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) includes 16 core courses along with the four-to-five months of required fieldwork experience. Coursework is presented in eight-week segments to immerse students in their class subjects.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, health-care focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas. At CUKC, the OTA program offers class starts in spring, summer, and fall each year. Other features of the OTA program:
To learn more, download the free CUKC ebook today: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.