Curious about options in the healthcare field? Don’t be too puzzled by the “occupational” part of the position known as an occupational therapy assistant (OTA). The answer to “what is an OTA?” is simple. They lead people to a healthier life after injury or a medical setback or because of a disability. And that does include helping people return to the occupations they love.
Think of an OTA as a teacher or coach who helps others overcome physical, mental, or developmental disabilities at any stage of life.
Sometimes the goal is to re-engage at work at the same level as before; sometimes, the goal is to regain self-care tasks like getting dressed without help. In other cases, it’s getting back to leisure activities that increase someone’s quality of life.
Successful OTAs have certain personality qualities, too. Friendly demeanor, compassionate, effective in one-to-one communication. They are detail-oriented and have the physical strength to move patients to different therapy positions.
Now that you know what an OTA is, you’ll also be happy to know that an OTA works as part of a team with an occupational therapist (OT), usually working directly with the client to ensure success in the therapy plan developed specifically for each patient.
Work settings are varied, including hospitals, school districts, nursing or assisted care facilities, and client homes.
On an average day, an OTA might:
Graduates from an OTA program learn technical skills and how to partner with clients to develop long-term solutions for chronic pain and other issues. An interest in people and appreciation for teaching techniques to achieve better health is ideal for an OTA program.
The A.A.S. in Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) consists of 15 core courses that include approximately 4-5 months of fieldwork education. Focused 8-week courses immerse you into your class subjects and allow for completing the degree in as little as two years.
Cleveland University-Kansas City is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb within the metro Kansas City area.
To learn more about the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at CUKC, request more information today, or get the free ebook: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.