What does an Occupational Therapy Assistant do?
The role of an Occupational Therapy Assistant is to support an Occupational Therapist in helping patients with physical, sensory, or cognitive problems. This includes aspects of personal care, productivity, and leisure activities. All of their job-related competencies are directly related to supporting the treatment and care provided by an Occupational Therapist. An Occupational Therapy Assistant provides hands-on patient care and service to facilitate treatment and rehabilitation.
Occupational Therapy Assistant skills and qualifications
Working with a diverse group of people with various physical limitations, an Occupational Therapy Assistant requires patience, understanding, and compassion. Having a friendly and calm demeanor is an essential skill of any successful OTA. Some of the critical skills and qualifications of an Occupational Therapy Assistant may include:
- Seeking appropriate consultation from an Occupational Therapist when needed
- Strong verbal and written communication skills with the ability to communicate with a diverse population
- Advocating for the role of occupational therapy to help improve the lives of patients
- Willingness to provide a high level of client service to all demographics
- A desire to help others with compassion and empathy
Occupational Therapy Assistant experience requirements
Occupational Therapy Assistant candidates need to have one to two years of experience working in occupational therapy or physical therapy roles. Entry-level candidates may not have professional occupational therapy experience but should be able to demonstrate experience in occupational therapy from intern and volunteer positions. Ideally, an Occupational Therapy Assistant candidate will have experience working with the types of patients required by the role, such as the elderly or veterans.
Occupational Therapy Assistant education and training requirements
In Canada, the role of an Occupational Therapy Assistant is not regulated. This means that there is no official education or licence required for candidates. However, most OTA jobs require candidates to have completed an accredited two-year Occupational Therapy Assistant program at a college or vocational school. Some roles may require candidates to have specific education and training depending on the work environment such as CPR and first aid. Additional on-going training can be gained on the job.
Occupational Therapy Assistant salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of an Occupational Therapy Assistant in Canada is $68,953 per year, depending on factors like experience, education, location, and company.
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