Occupational therapy assistants work under the direction of occupational therapists to provide rehabilitative services to persons with mental, physical, emotional, or developmental impairments. The ultimate goal is to improve clients’ quality of life and ability to perform daily activities. For example, occupational therapy assistants help injured workers re-enter the labor force by teaching them how to compensate for lost motor skills or help individuals with learning disabilities increase their independence.
Activities range from teaching the proper method of moving from a bed into a wheelchair to the best exercise to stretch and limber the muscles of the hand. Assistants monitor an individual’s activities to make sure that they are performed correctly and provide encouragement. They also record their client’s progress for the occupational therapist. If the treatment is not having the intended effect, or the client is not improving as expected, the therapist may alter the treatment program in hopes of obtaining better results. In addition, occupational therapy assistants document the billing of the client’s health insurance provider.
An associate’s degree or a certificate from an accredited community college or technical school is generally required to qualify for occupational therapy assistant jobs. Wallace State’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program is offered on the WSCC campus.
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