A career as an Occupational Therapy Assistant is a fulfilling one, since you are able to help people and develop relationships with patients. As an OTA, you provide opportunities to help others live a better life while helping expand the healthcare economy.
Why Is Occupational Therapy Important?
According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, Occupational Theory (OT) is defined as the therapeutic use of occupations, including daily life activities, with individuals and groups to support participation, performance and function in situations and roles in every day settings. OT determines areas where an individual requires assistance and helps the person perform an activity or adapt to the environment or task. OTAs are crucial in helping people regain their ability and independence to enjoy life to its fullest.
Why Should You Want to be an Occupational Therapy Assistant?
Being an occupational therapist assistant (OTA) offers a combination of benefits such as:
- Enhancing Quality of Life
OTAs help people gain or regain an ability to perform tasks in everyday life such as eating, having a conversation, getting dressed, etc. As an OTA, you will experience unforgettable moments with your patients as well as face challenging times. But, ultimately, you are helping to build a happier life for everyone that you work with.
- Working with Everyone
OTAs are not restricted to work with any specific age group. This vocation is full of possibilities where you get to work with geriatrics, pediatrics and everything in between.
- Working Dedicatedly
OTAs develop a special patient-provider relationship that strengthens over time. They get to watch individuals perform something that they couldn’t before and continue assisting them in enhancing their daily lives.
- Responsibility with Supervision
As an OTA, you get to work directly with your patients to help them accomplish important tasks related to their everyday life. At the same time, you work under the supervision of an occupational therapist who manages planning and paperwork and when in doubt, the occupational therapist will help you shape your treatment plan.
- An Outlet for Creative Potential
Although an occupational therapist sets a course of treatment, an OTA is the one who implements it by leading the patients through every step. Despite having a variety of helpful tools at their disposal, a major chunk of OTAs jobs come down to creativity. Every individual is unique with specific needs. For an OTA, each day presents unique challenges and opportunities that offer an ideal environment for a creative mind.
- High Demand
OTAs are in high demand with roles growing faster than the national average. The job outlook for OTAs is projected to be 28% from 2016 to 2026 which is higher than average.
- Apps and Tools at Your Disposal
Technology advancement and innovations help people with differing abilities perform various functions to live a full and happy life. There are a variety of tools and OT apps available for smartphones that come handy in for OTAs in helping accomplish their tasks.
- Entry into the Healthcare Profession
Becoming an OTA does not require a bachelor’s or master’s degree. You’ll need an associate degree which mandates typically two years of full-time study with a minimum of 16 weeks of fieldwork to gain hands-on work experience. Compared to other professions in the healthcare industry, this career path can help you get into the healthcare profession faster.
- Offers Flexibility
OTA jobs can be flexible – workplace-wise or schedule-wise. OTA work environments include nursing homes, in-home care, special needs adult living centers, speech pathology centers, schools, children hospitals and many more. OTAs have enough options to keep moving around until they find their perfect professional fit. It also gives them a diverse experience and a well-rounded understanding of the field. Since the job revolves around patient needs and schedules, OTA jobs do not typically run on a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday schedule.
To help you get a start in this great career, American Career College offers a 20-month certified Occupational Therapy Assistants associate degree program that blends classroom, clinical and laboratory learning. To learn more, contact us today.