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Career Story: Occupational Therapist's Assistant

Occupational Therapist's Assistant

Job Title: Occupational Therapist Assistant

Type of Company: I work for a large non-profit rehabilitation company.

Education: AS, Science

Previous Experience: I have done rehab for the past twelve years.

Job Tasks: It's my responsibility to make sure that older people can return to their homes and take care of themselves, after being discharged from the hospital: that they can bathe, dress, make themselves food and get around the house by using as a walker.

I often start my day by visiting a person who's just had a stroke. This patient would normally need some assistance, both getting out of bed and then walking. I would show him how to use a walker to get from the bed to his wheelchair, but I might need to use a hands-on assist because his legs were so weak. Once I got him sitting, I would start to instruct him on how to get dressed with one hand. (With stroke victims, one hand is typically paralyzed.) Explanations of this sort are a big part of occupational therapy.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is seeing the progress that a lot of patients make: seeing a stroke patient walk again and patients being motivated for their daily therapy.

The worst parts of the job are having Medicare tell you how many minutes you can spend with a patient...and all the gossip and paperwork too.

Job Tips:
1. You learn so much from your clinicals. Pay attention.

2. Ask questions of an older therapist.

3. When you're just starting out, make sure to work in a big rehabilitation facility.

4. Stay organized.

Additional Thoughts: What I loved about my field is that you can go into a variety of settings and you don't have to stay in one field. OT offers work in schools, private homes, nursing homes, acute care facilities and more. The schedule is also great. You can work per-diem and on weekends.

I am currently a COTA, and I have no regrets about not getting my OTR. The big difference is not being able to do evaluations.

Popular Schools offering Occupational Therapist Assisting Programs

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Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
  • Degrees: Master

Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.

  • Programs: Physical Therapy Aide/Sports Rehab Program
  • Degrees: Certificate

Earn your degree or diploma on your schedule and succeed at Ashworth College.

  • Programs: Occupational Therapy Aide, Physical Therapy Aide, Substance Abuse
  • Degrees: Diploma, Coursework
Fremont College
Los Angeles

Fremont College traces its roots to Platt College’s founding in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1879, and the Southern California branch campus was established in 1986.

  • Programs: AA - Sports and Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Degrees: Associate
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego

Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology.

  • Programs: M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy Specialization, Psy.D. Clinical Psychology, Psy.D. Applied Clinical Psychology
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate

Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.

  • Programs: Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC), Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Professional School Counseling (PSC)
  • Degrees: Master

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.

  • Programs: Rehabilitation Sciences (Master of Science) - Online, Rehabilitation Sciences (Certificate) - Online, Sports Counseling (Certificate) - Online, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Certificate

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Health Psychology - PhD of Psychology
  • Degrees: Doctorate

See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology/Clinical Psychology
  • Degrees: Bachelor
Intercoast Colleges
Anaheim, Fairfield, Rancho Cordova, Riverside, West Covina

Get your career started with Intercoast Colleges.

  • Programs: Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies, Online Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies
  • Degrees: Certificate
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