Occupational therapy assistants play a central role in the healing process for individuals who have experienced illness or accident. If you decide that a career as an occupational therapy assistant is right for you, know that occupational therapy assistant schools differ in length, cost and quality. Before committing to a program, research how much hands-on experience the program affords its students, and also look into the job placement rates for a specific program’s graduates.
Occupational therapy assistant schools offer students the skills required to become an encouraging, supportive and competent clinician. Occupational therapy assistants work closely with the occupational therapist, carrying out a patient’s rehabilitation plan. While physical therapy focuses on strengthening those major muscle groups, occupational therapy focuses on fine motor skills that many patients lose after experiencing a stroke. An occupational therapy assistant might start the day helping a patient stretch and strengthen the muscles in his or her fingers to re-learn how to use a toaster for example. Year after year, professionals working in the field of occupational therapy report high levels of job satisfaction, and after considering the personal rewards that stem from the job, it is no wonder why.
Occupational therapy assistant schools will prepare students to work everywhere from hospitals to occupational therapists’ offices to residential care facilities to home health care agencies.
Consider for a moment your past experience as a student. If you enjoy courses in medical terminology (which requires memorization), anatomy and physiology, and social science, you will most likely enjoy a program for occupational therapy assisting. A calming, patient and kind demeanor makes for a successful occupational therapy assistant who is able to establish relationships of trust and respect with patients.
Occupational therapy assisting programs are quite short compared with the extensive schooling required to become an occupational therapist, making this the perfect career for someone who wants to get educated and employable relatively quickly.