Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Description

Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Descriptionscription

What do occupational therapy assistants do?

Occupational therapy assistants help occupational therapists provide rehabilitative services to patients with mental, physical, emotional, or developmental impairments.  An occupational therapy assistant helps patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living/working. They help patients  improve their quality of life and ability to perform daily activities.

They also have titles such as 
occupational therapist assistant, OTA, certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA), certified occupational therapy assistant-Licensed (COTA-L), licensed occupational therapy assistant or school based certified occupational therapy assistant.

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An occupational therapy assistant job description includes helping clients with rehabilitative activities and exercises outlined in a treatment plan under the direction of an occupational therapist. A variety of activities may be involved. These range from teaching the proper method of moving from a bed into a wheelchair to the best way to stretch and limber the muscles of the hand. Occupational therapy assistants monitor an individual’s activities to make sure that they are performed correctly and to provide encouragement. They also record patient data and progress for the occupational therapist and document the billing of the client's health insurance provider.

Occupational therapy assistant job duties
  • collaborating with occupational therapists to develop a treatment plan for each patient
  • maintaining and promoting e a positive attitude toward clients and their treatment programs
  • helping patients do therapeutic activities, such as specific stretches and other exercises
  • working with children who have development disabilities, leading them in play activities that promote coordination
  • teaching  patients how to use special equipment; for example, showing a patient with Parkinson’s disease how to use devices that make eating easier
  • evaluating the daily living skills or capacities of physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabled clients
  • recording patients’ progress, report to occupational therapists, and do other administrative tasks

Information on this page summarized from:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides,
(2) O*Net Online, Summary Report for:31-2011.00 - Occupational Therapy Assistants, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/31-2011.00

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