An occupational therapist assistant doing exercises with a patientAre you interested in completing a healthcare training program that will lead to an enjoyable and rewarding career? Consider enrolling in the Occupational Therapist Assistant Program at The Praxis Institute to take the first step toward that goal. Offered at our Hialeah campus near Miami, FL, this program will provide you with all the essential skills and training needed to follow this career path. Here, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of working as an occupational therapist assistant, so you can get a better idea of what to expect in this line of work.

What Is an Occupational Therapist Assistant?

Occupational therapist assistants play an essential part in helping patients improve their quality of life. These healthcare professionals work in tandem with occupational therapists to create and conduct treatment plans for each of their patients. These treatment plans are centered on ways for patients to learn and regain everyday living skills, such as dressing, talking, and writing. Occupational therapist assistants are employed in a variety of healthcare settings, including:

  • Pediatrics: Many children with disabilities or behavioral issues benefit from occupational therapy.
  • Rehabilitation: Patients recovering from injuries, strokes, and trauma often need this type of treatment.
  • Long-term care: Here, you’ll help patients with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cancer, and other ailments.
  • Mental health: Some occupational therapists also assist patients with mental health issues.

Occupational therapist assistants can find work in hospitals, physical and speech therapist offices, rehab centers, skilled nursing facilities, schools, home health services, and other locations, enjoying a wide variety of options.

Primary Responsibilities of an Occupational Therapist Assistant

The main role of an occupational therapist assistant is to develop plans for their patients under the guidance of an occupational therapist and help implement these plans. Every patient will have different concerns and needs that you will have to focus on, so each plan will be different. The occupational therapist assistant works to carry out the plans in a variety of ways, so the work each professional does may vary, as well. However, typical job duties include:

  • Demonstrating proper techniques for exercises on muscle strengthening and flexibility
  • Practicing motor skills and coordination
  • Play activities for mental development and stimulation
  • Teaching patients how to use specialized equipment
  • Monitoring patient progress
  • Encouraging patients to succeed
  • Explaining specific exercises or treatment plans

The occupational therapist assistant helps each patient with their plan and will make changes if desired results aren’t being seen. These healthcare professionals may also take on some of the normal tasks associated with managing a practice, such as maintaining contact with patients, caregivers, and other medical specialists involved in the patient’s treatment. At The Praxis Institute, our Occupational Therapist Assistant Program provides all the courses and training you’ll need for this type of position. We can even help you find a job after completion through our Career Services department.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for an occupational therapist assistant is bright. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the overall employment of occupational therapist assistants is projected to grow by up to 34% from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than the average. The BLS also states that the median salary for an occupational therapist assistant in 2021 was $61,520 per year, showing excellent earning potential.

Over the next decade, there will likely be a large increase in demand for therapist assistants as a result of the health needs of the aging baby-boom generation and the rising elderly population. However, these professionals play a crucial role in healthcare for patients of all ages experiencing a variety of health concerns. Additionally, many professionals find this career path to feel personally rewarding, as they can make a positive impact in the lives of their patients.

Learn More About Our Occupational Therapist Assistant Program

Now that you have a better understanding of the job duties required of this position, are you ready to take the next step toward your OT career, or explore other healthcare career paths? If so, The Praxis Institute in Miami and Hialeah, FL, is ready for you with our competitive pricing, flexible schedules, and all the necessary training you’ll need. Contact us to learn more about our Occupational Therapist Assistant Associate Degree Program and enrollment today.