A Day in The Life Of An Occupational Therapist

Each blog post is dated and contains accurate information as of that date. Certain information may have changed since the blog post publication date. If you would like to confirm the current accuracy of blog information, please visit our Online OTA program overview page or contact us at (877) 223-2677.

A day in the life of an occupational therapist has a general structure but often entails completing a variety of different duties throughout the day. OTs and OTAs work together across many different settings to create and carry out treatment plans for their clients.

woman wearing scrubs greeting two elderly patients

A day in the life of an occupational therapist can be hard to describe. When asked for one word that describes a typical day in the life of an OT, some may respond with terms like “adaptive,” “interesting,” “dynamic,” “encouraging,” and “rewarding.” One word that describes it well is “motivating.” As an occupational therapist, you are constantly motivating patients to achieve a greater level of independence. Meanwhile, your patients have a way of motivating you to strive to be the best you can be.

Similarly, every day as an occupational therapy assistant, or OTA, will be different. From the clients you see to the activities you do, there is a lot of variety, yet each day will have a structure to it that you can expect and will be rewarding in different ways.

A Typical Day in The Life Of An Occupational Therapist Assistant

As an OTA, you’ll work with an OT to treat clients. Let’s take a look at the typical workday schedule of an OTA and what kinds of duties typically fill their docket.

Check-In Meeting

OTAs often start their day meeting with an occupational therapist and reviewing the clients they will see that day.

Prepare for the Day

After this meeting, OTAs may spend some time on administrative tasks, preparing activities for the day or they may start working directly with clients on activities that are part of their morning ADLs (activities of daily living).


OTA will work directly with clients for the rest of the morning. The length of each session and number of clients will vary by setting. An OTA may see several clients during the day. They will work on treatment activities prepared for each client based on their goals.

OT student sitting at desk with elderly woman filling a pill divider


Lunch may be a time for a quiet break, socializing with coworkers or it also might be spent in continuing education, meetings, or documentation of the morning’s sessions. In some settings, there are team meetings or family meetings that may be held at lunchtime or at other times during the day.


OTAs will continue to work with their clients in the afternoon. They may also meet with family members to provide updates on their progress, education, or training. OTAs also will document the progress of their clients during the day. This may happen in between sessions or at the end of the day.

End of the Day

An OTA may have some documentation to complete, or they may start to prepare for the next day. It will be different based on the setting where they work. Yet, at the end of the day, all OTAs can leave their work thinking about the progress their clients made that day, and inspired by the personal connections they made and the feeling that they are making a difference in people’s lives.

What is an Occupational Therapist?

An occupational therapist is a member of the healthcare community who assists patients in maintaining or enhancing their physical capabilities.

What Does an OT Do?

These skilled individuals provide patient care in a range of settings, work with a medical team to assess patients, and are trained to evaluate patients. A day in the life of an occupational therapist involves providing individualized treatment and offering specialized treatment plans while recording the patient’s progress and milestones.

man high-fiving an elderly woman

Learn more about what an OTA is in this blog post.

Why OTA is a Good First Step into the Field

If your goal is to join the healthcare industry, becoming an OTA can be a great option. OTAs are medical professionals who work with an occupational therapist to help patients who have illnesses, injuries, or disabilities. OTAs work with OTs to assess patients and provide tailored therapy plans. These assignments could be connected to the patient's daily routine, interests, or work.

How The St. Kate’s Program Can Help You Become an OTA

OT students sitting down talking while studying

Our online associate degree OTA program uses a blended learning style with a curriculum that is delivered online 80% of the time and on-campus 20% of the time.

You may anticipate a well-rounded education through this hybrid method, one that gives you the information, abilities, and career preparedness to take the NBCOT® Examination for OTA certification.

Through the program's completion, you'll get the assistance you need to become a certified OTA with the aid of knowledgeable instructors, a strong curriculum, and your cohort of program colleagues.

The number of credits you have that could be applied toward the online OTA program will determine how long it takes you to complete our program.

Learn More About Becoming an OTA

Are you interested in making a difference in the lives of others? Check out St. Catherine University's Online OTA program, where you can earn your degree in just 16 months.

outside shot of st. kate campus

The Ultimate Guide to Occupational Therapy and OTA

Get answers to your questions about the field, about the OTA career path, and about St. Catherine University’s Online OTA program.

book with cover title: Occupational Therapy Assistant Explained