Working under the supervision of occupational therapists, an occupational therapy assistant helps the therapist with rehabilitation and exercises designed to help patients regain mental, physical, emotional, or developmental disabilities. Occupational therapists oversee the rehabilitation regiment and directly perform therapy, exercises, and activities. Occupational therapy assistants will help the therapist with certain exercises that may require more than one person, record progress, offer en¬couragement to the patient, and assist in billing. Anyone hoping to become an occupational therapy assistant should be comfortable working directly with people, assisting in care, standing for long periods of time, and should posses a fair amount of strength needed to help lift some patients.
What Can I Do With an Online Degree in Occupational Therapy Assisting?
Earning an online degree in occupational therapy can provide a great way to enter a career in the field. To become an occupational therapy assistant, you must attend a school accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). In most cases, an associate degree in the field should suffice to work as an assistant. However, those hoping to become a physical therapist, and not an assistant, will need to go to an occupational therapy graduate school to earn a master’s degree. Once you have earned a degree from an accredited institution and completed 16 weeks of supervised field work, you will qualify for the national certifying exam for occupational therapy assistants.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia require occupational therapist assistants to be licensed, registered, or certified to work in the field. According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, there are 293 accredited schools in the United States offering occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant education. Students interested in taking occupational therapy assistant classes online can find a list of schools on the AOTA’s
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