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Home/ Careers/ Occupational Therapy/ Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Overview

Occupational therapy assistants help clients with rehabilitative activities and exercises outlined in a treatment plan developed in collaboration with an occupational therapist. Activities range from teaching the proper method of moving from a bed into a wheelchair, to  teaching energy conservation and joint protection techniques. Occupational therapy assistants monitor an individual's activities to make sure they are performed correctly and to provide encouragement. They also record their client's progress for use by the occupational therapist. If the treatment is not having the intended effect, or the client is not improving as expected, the occupational therapist may alter the treatment program in hopes of obtaining better results. In addition, occupational therapy assistants document billing of the client's health insurance provider.

To meet an occupational therapy assistant, see the NIH Lifeworks website. To learn more about this career, watch a video profile about occupational therapy assistants (in the Health Science category).

Working Conditions

The hours and days that occupational therapy assistants work vary, depending on the facility and whether they are full or part-time employees. Many outpatient therapy offices and health care facilities have evening and weekend hours, to help coincide with patients' personal schedules.

Academic Requirements

You must complete an associate's degree from an accredited college or technical school to qualify for occupational therapy assistant jobs. Search for schools that provide training for this career.