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:
Under close supervision of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant, perform only delegated, selected, or routine tasks in specific situations. These duties include preparing patient and treatment room.
On the job, you would:
Observe patients' attendance, progress, attitudes, and accomplishments and record and maintain information in client records.
Encourage patients and attend to their physical needs to facilitate the attainment of therapeutic goals.
Report to supervisors or therapists, verbally or in writing, on patients' progress, attitudes, attendance, and accomplishments.
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
therapy and counseling
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
talking to others
looking for ways to help people
understanding people's reactions
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
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Electronic medical record EMR software
Data base user interface and query software
Data entry software
associate's degree or high school diploma/GED usually needed
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.