Occupational Therapist Aides
Occupational therapist aides are part of a team that provides treatments for physical, emotional, mental and developmental impairments and disabilities. The objective of the treatments is to enhance the patients' quality of life and their ability to perform daily activities.
Some common job titles include rehabilitation aide, occupational therapy aide, OT aide, rehab aide, rehabilitation services aide, occupational rehabilitation aide and certified occupational rehabilitation aide.
Occupational therapist aides prepare patients and the treatment room. They assemble equipment and prepare materials that are utilized during treatment sessions. Occupational therapy aides also perform a variety of clerical tasks. Occupational therapist aides are not licensed, thus by law they are not allowed to perform a wide array of tasks performed by occupational therapist assistants.
- Prepare patients and treatment rooms
- Manage intradepartmental infection control and equipment security
- Schedule appointments
- Attend to patients' physical needs
- Prepare materials for use during therapy
- Process insurance paperwork
- Assemble equipment
- Report the progress, attendance, accomplishments and attitudes of patients to therapists or supervisors
- Order and restock supplies
- Maintain client records
Occupational therapy aides should be compassionate and have the desire to help people. They need patience and good interpersonal skills. They also need to be able to lift patients.
Work schedules vary by facility and whether they're full-time or part-time employees. Many outpatient therapy clinics and offices provide therapy during the evenings and weekends in order to accommodate their clients' schedules.
The employment of occupational therapist aides is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow by 31 percent between 2008 and 2018 which is much faster than average for all occupations. The growing elderly population will increase the demand for occupational therapy and occupational therapy aides. In addition, the median annual income in 2008 for occupational therapist aides was $26,950.
In 2008 there were approximately 7,800 occupational therapist aide positions. Occupational therapist aides can become occupational therapist assistants after completing the appropriate formal education.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Occupational therapist aides typically get most of their training on the job and usually need a high school diploma. Those that volunteer their services improve their chances of acquiring a job.
The primary job providers are hospitals, inpatient clinics, outpatient clinics, elementary and secondary schools, nursing care facilities and rehabilitation centers.
Schools for Occupational Therapist Aides are listed in the Browse Schools Section.