A Glance at Occupational Therapy Assistant Career
Are you thinking of an exciting career in health? An Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) career could be what you are looking for. You will not be paper pusher in administration or handle the more uncomfortable aspects of healthcare like dressing wounds. You will work with real people problems, helping them learn or relearn how to do daily tasks like brushing their teeth easier or comfortably walking again.
Who is an occupational therapy assistant?
An Occupational Therapy Assistant works with an Occupational Therapist in helping people with disabilities, injuries or muscular problems do daily tasks in a better way. This could, for example, be helping a recovering veteran learn how to use prosthetics, or teaching a kid with downs syndrome how to brush his or her teeth.
Where does an occupational therapist assistant work?
Occupational therapy assistants are to be found in places that people are trying to get back to their daily normal, or learn how to live more comfortably;
- Elderly care homes
- Special schools
- Patient s’ residential homes
Responsibilities and tasks
- Assist an Occupational Therapist (OTR) in treatment activities using a self-care approach and other therapeutic techniques to improve patient s’ function
- Monitor a patient to assess how they are performing activities, making note of what needs improvement, and giving encouragement where needed
- Document a patient ‘s progress and doing a periodic report, usually weekly
- Coordinating with the OTR to make plans for the patient
- Participate in training other caregivers e.g. family members in taking care of the patient
- Ensure that the OTR is working efficiently by maintaining the office, keeping it organized, ensuring the equipment is functional and consumables are restocked
Occupational Therapy Assistants are paid according to their area of expertise and experience. The level of education and certifications will also factor in salaries and wage levels. In the US, hourly wages start from $9.97 to $28.41, according to 2017 statistics.
OTA careers are projected to continue to grow as the baby boomer generation ages in increasing numbers. It is the fastest-growing career in healthcare with a projection of 43% by the year 2024.
Bonus for an OTA career
An OTA career is appealing because;
- You get to meet people from different walks of life; soldiers, kids, athletes, business executives and see how their day looks like
- You get to see real change when your patient can handle simple tasks that are taken for granted like tying shoelaces.
If you are looking to work in the health industry and want to make a real impact in people’s lives, a career as an occupational therapy assistant will be a good choice.