What do Occupational Therapy Assistants do?

Assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments. Generally requires formal training.

  • Select therapy activities to fit patients' needs and capabilities.
  • Observe and record patients' progress, attitudes, and behavior and maintain this information in client records.
  • Communicate and collaborate with other healthcare professionals involved with the care of a patient.
  • Maintain and promote a positive attitude toward clients and their treatment programs.
  • Monitor patients' performance in therapy activities, providing encouragement.
  • Instruct, or assist in instructing, patients and families in home programs, basic living skills, or the care and use of adaptive equipment.
  • Implement, or assist occupational therapists with implementing, treatment plans designed to help clients function independently.
  • Evaluate the daily living skills or capacities of physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabled clients.
  • Aid patients in dressing and grooming themselves.
  • Report to supervisors, verbally or in writing, on patients' progress, attitudes, and behavior.
  • Attend continuing education classes.
  • Assemble, clean, or maintain equipment or materials for patient use.
  • Alter treatment programs to obtain better results if treatment is not having the intended effect.
  • Demonstrate therapy techniques, such as manual or creative arts or games.
  • Teach patients how to deal constructively with their emotions.
  • Work under the direction of occupational therapists to plan, implement, or administer educational, vocational, or recreational programs that restore or enhance performance in individuals with functional impairments.
  • Transport patients to and from the occupational therapy work area.
  • Attend care plan meetings to review patient progress and update care plans.
  • Design, fabricate, or repair assistive devices or make adaptive changes to equipment or environments.
  • Perform clerical duties, such as scheduling appointments, collecting data, or documenting health insurance billings.
  • Order any needed educational or treatment supplies.
  • Assist educational specialists or clinical psychologists in administering situational or diagnostic tests to measure client's abilities or progress.

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Necessary Skills

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Monitoring
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Critical Thinking