People who struggle to feed themselves, get dressed, learn and work... depend on occupational therapy assistants and aides-to help them reach their goals. These professionals help patients gain skills and learn new ways to perform activities of daily living, whether at home, school, or work. Occupational therapy-or OT-assistants carry out treatment plans made by occupational therapists, treating patients from young children to older adults. They guide patients in the use of special equipment, and teach new ways to approach tasks such as moving from bed to a wheelchair. They document each step of patients' progress, and consult frequently with the OT. Occupational therapy aides keep treatment areas clean, equipped, and ready for the next patient. They assist patients in moving to and from treatment areas, schedule appointments, and help patients fill out billing and insurance forms. Most assistants and aides work in occupational therapists' offices, hospitals, and nursing care facilities. Both spend many hours a day on their feet, setting up equipment, bending, and lifting patients when necessary. Evening and weekend hours may be required. Occupational therapy assistants need an associate's degree from an accredited program, and, in most states, a license. Aides typically have a high school diploma or equivalent, and are trained on the job. Helping restore meaningful activity to the lives of their patients... provides a sense of purpose to OT aides and assistants.
What they do:
Assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments. Generally requires formal training.
On the job, you would:
Select therapy activities to fit patients' needs and capabilities.
Monitor patients' performance in therapy activities, providing encouragement.
Instruct, or assist in instructing, patients and families in home programs, basic living skills, or the care and use of adaptive equipment.
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
sociology and anthropology
Education and Training
teaching and course design
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
talking to others
understanding people's reactions
looking for ways to help people
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
order or arrange things
pay attention to something without being distracted
do two or more things at the same time
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
BrainTrain Captain's Log
Laboratory information system LIS
Data base user interface and query software
associate's degree usually needed
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.