What You Can Do With an OTA Degree

occupational therapist assistant

The great thing about many of Concorde's degree or diploma programs is that there is a wide variety of things you can do with them. This is especially true with our Occupational Therapist Assistant (OTA) associate degree program. The possibilities with an OTA degree from Concorde are endless, according to Ashley Posey, OTR/L, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator of the OTA program at Concorde Career College's Memphis, Tenn. campus. After passing the national board of certification exam and obtaining your state license, you have many avenues you can choose to practice. Some therapists choose to practice in one particular setting, while others choose to practice in a variety of settings, Posey said. "The profession of occupational therapy has deep roots in mental health and provides many different clinical and community-based programs in that practice area," she said. "While mental health is still a component of a holistic approach to practice, the profession also allows the scope of practice through the lifespan, meaning an OTA can work with newborns through geriatrics."

Working with children

As a pediatric therapist, you work closely with children of all ages as well as parents, teachers, and caregivers. The settings include hospitals, outpatient clinics, school systems, community-based programs and some non-traditional practice settings like hippotherapy and aquatic therapy. "Hippotherapy is an equine-assisted therapy that utilizes the movement of and interaction with horses," Posey said. "Aquatic therapy provides treatments and exercises performed in water for relaxation, fitness, physical rehabilitation, and many other therapeutic benefits."

Working with adults

OTAs can also work with adults in many practice settings, including acute settings within a hospital, inpatient rehabilitation settings and outpatient rehab settings. Other adult practice areas include work hardening and driver rehabilitation. "Work hardening is an individualized, job-specific program designed to return people to full-duty work," Posey said. "Driver rehabilitation is promoting and restoring safe community mobility."

Working with seniors

Another area you can practice as an Occupational Therapist Assistant is with the geriatric population. As we continue to see more and more baby boomers, the demand for occupational therapy to maintain and restore independence is critical. This population allows for jobs in both hospitals, residential facilities, and community-based programs. "With this population, as well as many of the others, the focus is teaching and providing adaptive devices, assistive technology and adaptation to activities to ensure both increased independence and overall quality of life are achieved," Posey said. The opportunities for an Occupational Therapist Assistant are endless. As the profession continues to grow and as more and more specialty practice settings are established, there will continue to be a demand for those in this fast-growing field.
occupational therapy assistant

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