Occupational Therapy Assistants provide one more level of treatment to help fulfill a patient’s recovery needs. Under the direction of an Occupational Therapist, the Occupational Therapy Assistant directly carries out rehabilitation programs designed to restore, reinforce, and enhance daily living. These activities may be as fun as crafts and games or as functional as learning to maneuver in a wheelchair.
Those who wish to become occupational therapy assistants can complete either a two year associate degree program or a one year certificate program offered by community colleges and vocational-technical schools. The certificate program is usually for students who have had several years of related health care experience or education. Graduates of an accredited program who pass the national certification examination earn the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant credential (COTA). An applicant for a license to practice as an occupational therapy assistant must complete an accredited program of study for occupational therapy assistants, complete two months of supervised field work, and pass the licensure exam.