Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Are you searching for an occupational therapy assistant job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an occupational therapy assistant. Feel free to use our occupational therapy assistant job description template to produce your own occupational therapy assistant job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an occupational therapy assistant.
Who is an Occupational Therapy Assistant?
Occupational therapy assistants are medical professionals who operate under the supervision of an occupational therapist to develop a treatment plan for each patient. Their job involves activities like showing a patient how to transfer properly from a bed to a wheelchair, performing rehabilitative exercises, or managing daily responsibilities. Occupational therapy assistants also work to empower people with developmental disabilities to become more independent.
Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Description
What is an occupational therapy assistant job description? an occupational therapy assistant job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of an occupational therapy assistant in an organization. Below are the occupational therapy assistant job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write an occupational therapy assistant job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of an occupational therapy assistant include all of the following:
- Determine how well patients who are physically, developmentally, and emotionally impaired can live.
- Assist in the development of treatment plans and the choice of activities to promote patients’ independence.
- Observe, track, and record patients’ development, attitudes, and behavior; give superiors feedback; and suggest alterations to their treatment regimens.
- Keep an optimistic outlook on the patients and the treatment plans.
- Teach patients and their families basic living skills, in-home programs, and how to take care of and operate adaptive equipment.
- Carry out elementary administrative activities including scheduling appointments and taking phone calls.
- Perform rote tasks like guiding patients through stretches and instructing them on how to use particular equipment.
- Use a variety of instruments and equipment, such as specialized lifts or pulleys to move patients.
- Create and maintain assistive technology, as well as alter machinery and surroundings.
- Help patients improve their quality of life by teaching them how to get over various obstacles, such as assisting injured workers in developing better motor skills so they can rejoin the workforce.
- Teach individuals with any type of learning disability how to make meals, use public transportation, and become more independent.
- Encourage patients while keeping an eye on their various activities to make sure they’re being done appropriately.
- Keep records by noting patients’ progress for the occupational therapist to use.
- Keep track of all the services offered to patients to aid in revenue generation.
- Investigate malfunctions, keep up with supplies, do preventive maintenance, and contact professionals for equipment repair.
- Participate in many professional organizations, read various professional magazines, and keep up with your networks.
To qualify as an occupational therapy assistant you ought to meet the following criteria:
Education: Most employers require pediatric occupational therapy assistants to have a master’s degree in occupational therapy, occupational therapy education, or a related field. These programs typically take two years to complete and include coursework in pediatric development, pediatric assessment, pediatric intervention, and pediatric ethics.
Training and Experience: Most pediatric occupational therapy assistant positions require candidates to have at least one year of experience working with children. This experience can be in a variety of settings, including schools, daycare centers, hospitals or pediatric clinics. This experience can help you learn more about the specific needs of children and how to interact with them. It can also help you learn more about the specific needs of pediatric occupational therapy and how to work with pediatric patients. Some pediatric occupational therapy assistant positions may require you to have experience working with children with special needs. This experience can help you learn more about the specific needs of children with special needs and how to work with them.
The core competencies required of an occupational therapy assistant include all of the following:
- Keen to focus on details: Being exact and thorough is crucial when working with patients. To the best of their abilities, occupational therapy assistants must be able to follow directions accurately. By doing this, they can guarantee that the treatment programs they develop are successful and that the people they work with are at ease and content.
- Patience: The ability to be patient is one of the most crucial traits you should possess if you want to work in occupational therapy. You are required to consult with various patients who are afflicted with physical, mental, and emotional illnesses. Some of them may be obnoxious, depressed, irritable, stubborn, or depressed. However, you must still approach them with the same effort and grin that you would cooperate with patients. While some customers’ conditions can improve within a few weeks or months, others may take a year or longer, so you must exercise patience with all of them.
- Determination: An assistant in occupational therapy must always look forward to the day and be eager to assist any patient. Being an occupational therapist won’t always be enjoyable. You’ll have to help those who are dealing with challenging circumstances that can be mentally and physically taxing.
- Enthusiasm: One of the primary competencies needed to work as an occupational therapy assistant is this. You should always be passionate and eager to serve others. Being excited ensures that, despite how exhausting your everyday chores may be, you will always have the stamina to complete them. You will anticipate returning to work the following day when you conclude your workday and head home. Your main responsibility as an occupational therapy assistant is to support clients in any manner you can. Your clients will be more inspired to enhance their well-being if you are motivated to accomplish your work. Your patient’s health will improve quickly in this manner.
- Skills in Effective Communication: Patients of various ages with a variety of physical, mental, and emotional problems are treated by occupational therapy assistants. It is also important to keep in mind that patients will vary greatly in terms of their personalities, temperaments, and personal abilities. While some patients may be composed, gracious, and polite, others could be unpleasant, irritated, or impatient. It is crucial to be able to effectively respond to all different types of sufferers with various ailments.
Occupational therapists must pay attention and clearly describe conditions and duties while working with patients. The same is true when communicating with patients of all ages. If they are working with a kid patient, they should be able to translate complex terms into simpler ones so that the young patient may understand them. You must be able to speak with patients who have a variety of injuries using a variety of conversational strategies.
Occupational therapists also need to communicate with other team members, medical professionals, and clinics. Occupational therapists (OTs) should frequently assign tasks to occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) and act as medical supervisors for lower-level workers. They must therefore listen and communicate during these dialogues in a clear, effective, and confident manner. For efficient communication, occupational therapy jargon and common occupational phrases must also be taken into consideration.
- Ability to solve problems: To succeed in this position, you must be able to independently decide how to resolve various problems in a way that avoids catastrophic failure or hazards. If occupational therapy were an equation, the solution would be the result of deliberate attempts to solve problems. You should be sufficiently knowledgeable about the many fields of medical science. You ought to be able to deal with any issues you encounter if you have that information and the ability to think critically.
- Physical endurance: Occupational therapy assistants are required to serve clients all day, go from one location to another, and spend a lot of time standing next to patients. Patients may desire to utilize occupational therapists as a literal crutch to be able to do the skill because the physiotherapy techniques employed in occupational therapy might be challenging. If you decide to pursue a career as an occupational therapist, you must be physically fit and robust.
- High Levels of Organization: The tasks that occupational therapy assistants must manage to include their calendars, the objectives of their clients, appointments, discussions with other specialists, and so forth. Additionally, they must ensure that all relevant documentation is submitted in a timely, clear, and accurate way. Depending on the context, some occupational therapists are even in charge of monitoring insurance authorization expirations and reevaluation deadlines. To ensure that their patients receive the finest care possible and that no detail is missed, a professional occupational therapy assistant must be well-organized and meticulous.
- Flexibility: You must be adaptable to a variety of professions if you want to be an occupational therapist. When treating patients, you must determine which therapy will be most effective for various patient types. If two patients have back pain, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the cause was the same. In these situations, you must diagnose each patient individually and determine the most appropriate therapy. Also necessary is time flexibility. When you work as an occupational therapist, clients may postpone or reschedule appointments, and your daily routine may alter considerably. Furthermore, you can work with children on one day and not see or treat anyone younger than 50 on the following day. Because anyone might experience the problems that necessitate occupational therapy, you never know what kind of patients you will encounter. Be ready for ambiguity and maintain your flexibility.
- Outstanding writing abilities: Finally, you should be a skilled writer. An assistant in occupational therapy must monitor patients’ health to determine how they are doing. You need to be able to record detailed files and information about each of your patients using proper language and grammar. You ought to be able to tell what treatments your patients require next by taking a quick look at the reports. Patients’ reports are also valuable to other members of your team. You must therefore write clearly and professionally yet using simple language so that they can understand it. You can effectively assist your patients, their families, and your staff by using effective writing and documentation skills.
How to Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant
Below is a list of four steps required to become an occupational therapy assistant:
- Complete a program to become an occupational therapy assistant: Enrolling in an approved program is the initial step to becoming an occupational therapy assistant. After finishing, you can register for the licensure test. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) or the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) should accredit this two-year associate degree (AOTA).
- Complete fieldwork: You must finish a clinical experience as a requirement for your degree program, working patiently under the direction of an occupational therapist. The amount of experience you need depends depend on the state in which you reside and the institution you attend, but it normally ranges from two months to one year.
- Take the National Certification NBCOT COTA Exam: The Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) test is the next step. With this certification, you are eligible to work anywhere in the US. You must pay a fee, take the test online, and submit transcripts demonstrating your graduation from an accredited program.
- Register for a state license: Additionally, you’ll need to apply for a license in the state where you intend to work. Consult your licensing board for information on the requirements for an occupational therapy assistant license because not all states have the same standards.
Where to Work as an Occupational Therapy Assistant
You can work as an occupational therapy assistant in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, physical therapy clinics, medical rehabilitation clinics, and eldercare facilities. Additionally, you might work in halfway houses, assisted living facilities, drug and alcohol rehab institutions, and occupational therapy clinics. Assisting patients who have been discharged from a hospital or rehabilitation facility and need assistance adjusting to their homes is another job option with home health care agencies.
Occupational Therapy Assistant Salary Scale
In Los Angeles, California, the average gross pay for an occupational therapy assistant is $72,569, or $35 per hour. The average occupational therapy assistant pay in the US is $6,772, so this is 10% more than that. Additionally, they receive an ordinary bonus of $0. Wage projections are based on anonymous employee and company responses to a salary survey conducted in Los Angeles, California. The typical wage for an entry-level occupational therapy assistant (1-3 years of experience) is $53,007. The average pay for a senior-level occupational therapy assistant (8+ years of experience) is $88,812, on the other hand.
In the United Kingdom, the average gross wage for an occupational therapy assistant is £39,660, which equates to $19 per hour. They also receive an average bonus of £0. Salary projections are based on anonymous employee and employer responses to a salary survey conducted in the UK. The typical wage for an entry-level occupational therapy assistant (1-3 years of experience) is £28,969. The average pay for senior-level occupational therapy assistants (8+ years of experience) is £48,538, on the other hand.
In Ontario, Canada, the average gross wage for an occupational therapy assistant is $64,811, which equates to $31 per hour. This is $1,207 (+2%) more than what an occupational therapy assistant in Canada makes on average. Additionally, they receive an ordinary bonus of $0. Salary projections are based on information from a poll of anonymous employees and employers in Ontario, Canada. The typical wage for an entry-level occupational therapy assistant (1-3 years of experience) is $47,472. The average pay for an occupational therapy assistant at the senior level (8+ years of experience) is $79,252.
In Australia, the average wage for an occupational therapy assistant is $59,989 per year or $30.76 per hour. Most experienced workers earn up to $71,941 per year, while entry-level occupations start at $53,829 annually.
In Ireland, the average gross pay for an occupational therapy assistant is €44,954, or €22 per hour. They also receive an average bonus of zero euros. Wage projections are based on anonymous employee and employer responses to a salary survey conducted in Ireland. The typical compensation for an entry-level occupational therapy assistant (1-3 years of experience) is €32,937. An occupational therapy assistant at the senior level (8+ years of experience) makes an average salary of €54,986.
In Germany, the average gross wage for an occupational therapy assistant is 54.171 euros or 26 euros per hour. They also receive an average bonus of 0 Euros. Wage projections are based on anonymous employee and employer responses to a salary survey conducted in Germany. The typical wage for an entry-level occupational therapy assistant (1-3 years of experience) is 39.568 euros. The average wage for a senior-level occupational therapy assistant (8+ years of experience) is 66.297 euros.
In Nigeria, the average monthly salary for an occupational therapy assistant is about 438,000 NGN. The lowest salary is 236,000 NGN, and the highest is 661,000 NGN (highest). This is the typical monthly wage, which also includes housing, transportation, and other amenities.