How to Become an Occupational Therapist Assistant

Whether you are embarking on a first time career or you have interest in changing careers, occupational therapy assistant is one field that has a lot to offer. You must ask the right questions to determine whether this career is right for you.

Occupational therapist assistants tend to enjoy flexible work hours and the chance to work in a variety of settings including hospitals and patients’ homes. But beyond those surface level benefits, a majority of occupational therapist assistants report high job satisfaction because of the opportunity to form strong relationships with patients, while enjoying an outlet for creativity and altruism. Before delving into the specifics of how to become an occupational therapist assistant, you must ask the right questions to determine whether this career is right for you. Providing healing and hope to individuals across the lifespan must be the guiding force in an occupational therapist assistant’s work.

How to Become an Occupational Therapist Assistant

An occupational therapist assistant is trained to view the patient in a holistic manner, considering not only the limitations of a patient’s disability but also how the environment impacts the patient as well. For example, an occupational therapist assistant might see an elderly patient who has recently suffered a stroke. The patient might no longer be able to carry out normal daily tasks that he or she once performed effortlessly, like turning a doorknob or punching buttons on a microwave.

The beauty of a career in occupational therapy is the variety. In fact, professionals in this field tend not to suffer from burnout because their degree and skills can be used outside of a medical arena – in schools, nursing facilities, mental health facilities and home health. No two patients are alike, which is why being an occupational therapist assistant keeps the professional on his or her toes throughout an entire career.

Are you a practicing Respiratory Therapist with an Associate's degree, which is a pre-requisite for this program?