Occupational Therapist Assistant Schools

If you are interested in becoming an occupational therapist assistant or serving as an occupational therapy aide, you'll need to complete an associate's degree program at one of the accredited occupational therapy assistant schools in the country. These schools offer training to become a certified occupational therapy assistant and will prepare you for a rewarding career in this growing field. Graduates of occupational therapy assistant schools are fully prepared to take the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapist (NBCOT) examination and can then apply for entry-level positions in their field.

What Are Occupational Therapy Assistant Schools?

Occupational therapy assistant schools train students to work as occupational therapists or aides in the healthcare field, and provide both classroom and hands-on training to ensure the student has the adequate skills and knowledge needed to enter the field. Assistants are trained to work under the supervision of occupational therapists, with the goal of helping patients perform daily activities and work-related tasks with ease after an accident or an injury.

Training and Courses at Occupational Therapy Assistant Schools

Training programs at occupational therapy assistant schools give students a chance to learn how to guide patients through various types of exercise, and how to maximize independent function after an injury or an accident. These training programs prepare students to work with all types of patients in different settings, and focus on enhancing development, increasing range of motion, maintaining health and preventing disability so that they patient can enjoy more independence.

Examples of courses that may be offered at an occupational therapist assistant school include:

  • Occupational Therapy Fundamentals
  • Practical Anatomy and Kinesiology
  • Development Across the Life Span
  • Purposeful Activity
  • Activity Analysis
  • Referral and Assessment Techniques
  • Treatment Planning and Implementation
  • Professional Skills Development
  • Service Operations Management
  • The Psychiatric Environment
  • Medical Conditions in Occupational Therapy
  • Group Process in Occupational Therapy
  • Splinting
  • First Aid Basics
  • Documentation and Fieldwork Courses

Occupational therapist assistant courses and training programs are a combination of classroom and hands-on training, and most occupational therapy assistant schools require students to participate in fieldwork projects and successfully meet all objectives of the review seminar at the end of their training.

Serving as an occupational therapist assistant can be a very rewarding career path for many individuals, and those who want to advance in their careers may consider completing a bachelor's degree program and then a master's degree program so that they can become certified occupational therapists.

Becoming a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

Becoming a certified occupational therapy assistant typically takes about two years and begins with admission into the formal Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program at an accredited school or educational institution. Students must meet certain program requirements and fill out a formal application. They may be required to include their ACT scores, high school GPA, proof of insurance and an annual physical examination form, and be prepared to maintain a minimum grade in all general and major require courses throughout their educational careers.

After completing all required course, the student must complete a certain number of credit hours in fieldwork and can sit for the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapist (NBCOT) examination in order to become a certified occupational therapist assistant.