Occupational Therapy Assistant – What Do They Do?


An occupational therapy assistant is a career in healthcare system that is of assistance to improve performance of people with restricted physical, physiological, emotional, and mental capabilities. They work under the supervision of an occupational therapist. Occupational therapist assesses and formulates a treatment plan for the patient and the assistant helps to implement the treatment.

Occupational therapy assistant is becoming more and more popular these days because the rate of people needing their services is increasing. It is estimated that by the year 2018, at least fifty thousand occupational therapy assistants are needed to fill the job. The average annual earning is about $45,000 to $80,000.

But, what does an occupational therapy assistant do? They are the ones who help the patient perform the therapeutic activities and exercise programs designed for them. They assist the patients in performing daily tasks required from them. For instance, children with disabilities have developmental problems. They assist the child to walk as well as to dress on their own independently.

They also help those who are physically injured to restore physical and physiological functions. For instance, a stroke patient who has difficulty eating without assistance needs to recover from the injury and perform daily tasks by himself. They help to reestablish motor and cognitive skills of the injured individual.

In addition, they assist the occupational therapist in the assessment and evaluation concerning the treatment, purpose, intervention as well as the improvement of the condition of the patient. They report directly to the occupational therapist related to the reaction and progress of the patient after each treatment.

Communication is very important. Occupational therapy assistants must have good communication skills. They also must learn how to collaborate with other health-allied professionals. They must also know how to interact with the patient and the family of the patient to help them achieve the therapeutic goal. Writing skills is also an important factor to provide the occupational therapist detailed information.

Patience, determination and will power are the main key ingredients in providing care and assistance to all the patients in order to achieve the purpose of the therapy program. Every detail in the treatment plan must be performed correctly as well as the response of the patient. People with ailments and disabilities have behavioral problems and mood swings. Assistants should know how to handle their patients during these mood swings. Being an occupation therapy assistant is not an easy job. However, it is a rewarding and fulfilling job in the health care services niche.


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