Magazine article Techniques

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Magazine article Techniques

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Article excerpt

OCCUPATIONALTHERAPY ASSISTANTS WORK WITH OCCUPATIONAL therapists to help patients recover and improve the skills they need to live fuller lives. They are instrumental in developing plansfor patients that will then be implemented through therapeutic activities and exercises. Patients may range from children with developmental disabilities to adults who have been injured by accidents or illness. The duties of an occupational therapy assistant may include teaching patients how to use special equipment they will need during recovery or in their daily lives, and teaching patients the best ways to exercise and stretch. Those who work in occupational therapy practices mayalso perform clerical and administrative duties.

The Workplace

Occupational therapy assistants work in the offices of occupational, speech and physical therapists, in public or private hospitals, in public or private educational servicesorganizations, for home healthcare services,and in residential and nursing-care facilities.

Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational therapy assistants typically need an associate degree from an accredited program, and most states require licensure. There are a number of programs at community colleges and technical schools across the country that haveaccreditation from the American Occupational Therapy Association's (AOTA) Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education. Students can begin preparing for a career in high school through health and biology courses and volunteer work in a health-care setting. …

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