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Details for Occupational Therapist Assistants


Description

Assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments. Generally requires formal training.

Tasks

  • Observe and record patients' progress, attitudes, and behavior, and maintain this information in client records.
  • Maintain and promote a positive attitude toward clients and their treatment programs.
  • Monitor patients' performance in therapy activities, providing encouragement.
  • Select therapy activities to fit patients' needs and capabilities.
  • Instruct, or assist in instructing, patients and families in home programs, basic living skills, and the care and use of adaptive equipment.
  • Evaluate the daily living skills and capacities of physically, developmentally or emotionally disabled clients.
  • Aid patients in dressing and grooming themselves.
  • Implement, or assist occupational therapists with implementing, treatment plans designed to help clients function independently.
  • Report to supervisors, verbally or in writing, on patients' progress, attitudes and behavior.
  • Alter treatment programs to obtain better results if treatment is not having the intended effect.
  • Work under the direction of occupational therapists to plan, implement and administer educational, vocational, and recreational programs that restore and enhance performance in individuals with functional impairments.
  • Design, fabricate, and repair assistive devices and make adaptive changes to equipment and environments.
  • Assemble, clean, and maintain equipment and materials for patient use.
  • Teach patients how to deal constructively with their emotions.
  • Perform clerical duties such as scheduling appointments, collecting data, and documenting health insurance billings.
  • Transport patients to and from the occupational therapy work area.
  • Demonstrate therapy techniques such as manual and creative arts, or games.
  • Order any needed educational or treatment supplies.
  • Assist educational specialists or clinical psychologists in administering situational or diagnostic tests to measure client's abilities or progress.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Related Careers

  • Child, Family, and School Social Workers
  • Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors
  • Health Educators
  • Physical Therapists
  • Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
Wages for this career
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