[Quiz] What Is an Occupational Therapy Assistant?

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In the health care field, many know the essential role the occupational therapy field plays in helping patients live life to the fullest. Outside of the health care field, not many know about the imperative work occupational therapists do. You may wonder, what is an occupational therapy assistant and what do they actually do? Take this quiz to test your knowledge of the OT field and discover the answers below.

how much do you know about OTA?

OTAs Work in Different Practice Areas

Many people think occupational therapy only exists in nursing homes, but that’s totally false! In the occupational therapy field there are six different practice areas:

Children and Youth

When working with children and youth, OTAs have the opportunity to work in schools, clinics, and patients’ homes. In this area of practice, OTAs work with children who have developmental disabilities, mental health issues, autism, sensory issues, and more.

Health and Wellness

In the health and wellness area of practice, registered occupational therapists (OTR) help people with issues ranging from chronic conditions, such as diabetes, to acute conditions, like carpal tunnel syndrome, manage their health to be as active and independent as possible.

Mental Health

Many people do not know that occupational therapy extends to mental health. OTR’s include mental health as part of their treatment, regardless of the condition. OTRs and OTAs help people who abuse drugs or alcohol, have a mood disorder, are transitioning into a new job, and more.

Productive Aging

With a rapidly aging population, this area of occupational therapy addresses all aspects of aging. With a focus on function, OTAs assist OTRs in keeping older adults independent and safe.

Rehabilitation and Disability

Rehabilitation is at the core of the OT field and addresses the needs of patients with injuries, illnesses, or a permanent disability. Registered occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants might work with patients in a hospital, rehab facility, clinics, or in a patient’s own home.

Work and Industry

In this area of practice, OTRs promote workplace success by improving the fit between the person, the job requirements, and the environment. COTAs work with employers and employees to adapt or modify work so a patient can successfully return to work after an illness or injury. This area of practice also assists children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. OTAs assist this group in preparing for a job and the transition into the workforce.

You should now know the answer to, “what is occupational therapy assisting” and all the areas an OTA can work.

The occupational therapy field understands the person, place, and environment and how they all interact together. OTAs work to help a patient live a full and independent life- they treat the patient, not the illness.

Many get into the OT field with a preferred area of interest, but our education process prepares our students to graduate as a generalist OTA. After passing the final exam to become a certified OTA, our OTA students are able to work in whichever practice area they please.

Are you interested in becoming a certified occupational therapy assistant? Contact us to learn more about our unique online program today!

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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