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.
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.
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.
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? Learn more about our unique online program today!