Occupational therapy assistance is a good career to pursue, as the outlook for such jobs is excellent, and also the occupational therapy assistant salary range is quite good. This article gives you an overview of the job description, educational requirements, and the salary of an occupational therapist.
Several youngsters possessing a liking towards medical jobs and particularly allied health care professions are opting for career in occupational therapy. But what exactly is occupational therapy? Occupational therapy is defined as an allied health care profession that is associated with the promotion of health and well-being of an individual, group, or community, by engaging the same in some kind of work or occupation. Occupational therapy, therefore, is a unique and noble career. In fact, occupational therapy jobs have got a high level of job satisfaction.
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Occupational therapists are people who are engaged in helping people to come out of their day-to-day problems, and also promote their welfare by indulging them in some occupation. So now, what are occupational therapy assistants? They are people who assist occupational therapists in conducting treatments and therapy sessions. However, assistance is not the only job they perform. Their job includes many other duties and responsibilities. The next few paragraphs will discuss the job description, educational requirements, and occupational therapist assistant salary range.
A training program for occupational therapy assistance can be taken up only after acquiring a high school diploma or any other equivalent educational qualification. There are several colleges and vocational institutions that offer associate degree programs of two years and also certificate programs. These training programs would include education on mental health, anatomy, pediatrics, and understanding of basic medical terminologies. To become a certified occupational therapist assistant (COTA), you need to take up a graduate program accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association, and complete it successfully. Occupational therapy assistants having some experience of working for hospitals or summer camps are preferred more by health care organizations.
Occupational therapy is not and easy job, and requires a lot of hard work. In fact, grooming people, making them understand things, preparing developmental programs for effective patient care, are all specialized and difficult tasks. Therefore, people with a helpful nature, stable mental health, excellent communication skills, and a strong liking and determination towards working for humanity do well in this kind of job.
From therapy assistance to administration, occupational therapists are responsible for almost everything associated to their department. Here’s a brief job description of an occupational therapy assistant.
- The core responsibility of an occupational therapy assistant is to provide assistance to the occupational therapists, while conducting therapies, preparing developmental programs for effective service to the patients, etc.
- They are required to assist physically an/or mentally disabled patients perform routine day-to-day activities like sitting, walking around, etc.
- Preserving medical records and patient history for future references.
- Taking care and maintaining the equipment used during the work, and also keep a check on the stock of essential supplies and utilities required in the clinic.
- Communicate the daily progress of the patients to the occupational therapist, and also keep a neat and up-to-date record of everything.
- Interrogating the patients on a primary level, and also making a detailed case study of the same.
- Their input is vital regarding individual cases while working out treatment plans for them.
- Looking after all the administrative duties, such as handling the reception, answering internal as well as external phone calls, and arranging patient appointments according to the schedule of the occupational therapist.
Occupational Therapist Assistant Salary
Occupational therapy assistants are paid according to the location, size of the organization, certification they possess, level of training, and work experience. For a start, the salary will be around $40,000, while an experienced assistant can even earn up to $60,000 per year. Thus, the average salary can be said to be around the $50,000 mark. If calculated on an hourly basis, it comes to anywhere around $25 to $30 per hour. The states where the pay is on the higher side for this job are California, Texas, Florida, Nevada, and Connecticut. Though, these salaries are simply estimates, and will vary according to the points mentioned earlier.
Needless to say, the career outlook for occupational therapy assistants is excellent. With more and more hospitals, rehabilitation centers, community mental health agencies, and health care organizations opening all the time, the need for qualified occupational therapy assistants is always going to be on the rise. And obviously, the occupational therapy assistant salary range will also show and upward trend in times to come.