No day is the same for occupational therapy assistants (OTA) and the places they can work are unique too. Their job duties consist of helping patients of all ages and with all different types of disabilities and challenges, learn how participate in everyday life activities.
OTAs often work in rehabilitation clinics or hospitals. But, did you know these healthcare professionals can be found in many other places? If you’re interested in the field but not sure where you’d like to work, check out the five options below.
1. Home Health. An occupational therapy assistant can work for home healthcare agencies. This is great for patients who feel comfortable in their own homes and can learn the skills they need to perform their routines and activities. The OTA will come up with a plan based on how the patient’s home is set up as well as help them learn how to use devices and tools to help with daily tasks.
2. Schools. OTAs work in schools to assist children with special needs. They help them adapt to their new school environment and give them methods to use school equipment such as pens and pencils, computers and so on. The OTAs goal is to help the student participate as much as possible in the school setting with meaningful activities that promote physical and mental well-being and for the student to be able to integrate with the rest of the student body.
3. Ergonomic Specialist. This is a very unique option for an occupational therapy assistant. More and more office managers are realizing the harmful effects their employees endure from sitting at a desk all day. OTAs are brought in to observe how people are interacting while at their desks, on their computers and their surroundings to uncover the sources of strain and injury. After the OTA discovers the issues, they suggest exercises and postures to alleviate the strain as well as suggest ergonomic furniture and equipment to use.
4. Assisted Living or Halfway Homes. OTAs help people learn how to live their lives independently at both of these residential places. This can include teaching them how to cook, pay their bills, practice personal hygiene care, apply for jobs and other basic tasks. They act as a guide for people who are returning back to daily life after spending and extended amount of time at an institution.
5. Contract Therapy. In this role, occupational therapy assistants work in various clinical settings as a contracted employee for a certain amount of time. This is a great opportunity to interact with various patients, settings and other OTAs and clinicians as well as expand your knowledge while being paid for it.
If you’d like to help people better their lives and learn how to live independently, consider a healthcare career as an occupational therapy assistant. There are many job opportunities on how you can help others.