Nursing and Health Care Degrees and Certificates > Occupational Therapy Assistant > Occupational Therapy Assistant Career Overview

Occupational Therapy Assistant Career Overview

Job duties of occupational therapy assistant may include:

 
  • Working with injured patients to regain function
  • Helping children with disabilities to develop social skills
  • Working with older adults who are experiencing mental or physical issues
  • Teaching patients following injury ways to perform daily living skills to the best of their ability
  • Helping patients with disabilities develop skills to lead more independent lives
  • Providing ongoing rehabilitation for patients with permanent or long-term impairments
  • Teaching patients how to use special equipment such as feeding devices
  • Recording patient progress and reporting to the occupational therapist
  • Teaching exercises to help patients maximize physical function
  • Preparing treatment areas and equipment before therapy sessions
  • Assisting patients and families with paperwork or insurance forms
 
 

Where will I work?

Occupational therapy assistants provide treatment interventions to infants, children, adults and geriatric patients in settings such as public schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, mental health centers, nursing homes and other community settings. 

What makes a good occupational therapy assistant?

  • Excellent communication skills to be able to listen well and communicate clearly with patients who may have limited communication skills themselves
  • Patience with helping clients rebuild skills and activities
  • Compassion and sensitivity in working with patients who may be frustrated with slow progress
  • A level of physical fitness to be able to bend, stretch or lift in therapy sessions
  • Good problem-solving skills to assess patients' progress and help them move forward in their recovery
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to work with a wide variety of people when they're not at their best
  • Good organization and self-direction skills
  • Ability to be a team player with a group of professionals jointly invested in patients' progress and recovery
  • Good writing skills for keeping detailed files on patients' progress

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Ready to take your first step toward a career in occupational therapy?