March 28, 2023

5 Traits of a Successful Occupational Therapy Assistant

By B&SC Blog Team

5 Traits of a Successful Occupational Therapy Assistant

April is National Occupational Therapy Month, giving us the opportunity to highlight what occupational therapy brings to healthcare, as well as the important role that occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) play to aid occupational therapists (OT’s) in helping patients. Under the guidance of an OT, OTAs help patients develop, recover, improve, and maintain the crucial skills needed for daily living and working.

As opposed to an OT, who evaluates and develops a treatment plan for the patient based on the patient’s specific needs, the OTA executes the plan by teaching the individual how to overcome the challenges brought about by injury, illness, or disability.

5 Crucial Character Traits of a Successful Occupational Therapy Assistant

1. Patient

Having patience is a key trait to have as an OTA since most of these professionals work with patients who have experienced an accident or illness that has led to a debilitation. Recovery time can be long and demanding and it can be easy for patients to feel discouraged and sometimes angry, so the OTA must be patient and understanding while working with his or her clients in order to help them feel at ease and experience encouragement as they work to overcome their problems.

2. Passionate

OTAs who are passionate about their jobs not only make work more enjoyable for themselves, but also make the time patients spend in therapy easier as well. Individuals who have an interest in the field and in helping others regain their strength and resume their normal lives after an illness or an accident thrive most in this career. It can be hard for patients to accept the fact that they can’t do certain things on their own anymore, but a passionate and optimistic OTA increases a patient’s morale while creating a more positive treatment environment.

3. Observant

Being observant as an OTA is key to helping patients heal. OTAs must keep a constant close eye on their patients and observe whether the healing therapies are working and if progress is being made. If the current treatment plans are not working, the OTA can work with the OT to make adjustments and the necessary changes.

4. Independent

Although OTAs work with an occupational therapist to figure out the best practices for a patient, there is a level of independence in their jobs too. OTAs must be able to think quickly and comprehensively, and, to solve problems, be independent enough to know when to make a decision, when to ask for help, and whether the therapy being utilized is working.

Occupational therapy is different for every individual who comes for help. This means that every patient will need a personalized care plan by an OTA who is integral and experienced.

5. Adaptable

OTAs work in various settings and with different patients of all ages and capabilities. Being open-minded and ready to take on new challenges is crucial to the success of a patient’s therapy. An OTA should be an advocate for his or her patient and use a patient-centered approach to help patients achieve their goals.

What Degree Do You Need to Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant?

Students in this occupational therapy associate degree program will learn what it takes to provide support and treatment to adults and children in need of focused therapy to redevelop vital capacities that are used daily. Students’ coursework will include theory, anatomy, and physiology, and they will gain assessment skills through multiple experiences in the field, which will enhance the theory and practice learned in classroom and lab settings.

The associate degree in occupational therapy assistance will prepare graduates for roles in hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, schools, skilled nursing facilities, and day-treatment centers. There is a growing demand within the occupational therapy field for professionals with the skills and the degrees to do the one-on-one work patients need to improve functionality and recover from illness and injury. As the demand for occupational therapy services grows, so will the value of the occupational therapy assistant associate degree program from Bryant & Stratton College.

What You Will Learn in OTA School

Bryant & Stratton College occupational therapy assistant students will gain skills and experiences that will give them the confidence to begin their careers. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to apply occupational therapy principles and theories to evaluation and intervention techniques in order to achieve desired outcomes; demonstrate professional behavior, values, and moral and ethical standards and attitudes consistent with the profession of occupational therapy; appreciate the distinct roles and responsibilities of the occupational therapy assistant as they apply to interactions with clients, family members, and other professionals, including occupational therapists; be an advocate for clients, services, and the profession; provide services to clients of varied backgrounds in various systems without bias; and value research, evidence-based practices, and the need to keep current and engaged in lifelong learning.

Taking the Step to Becoming an OTA

This April, Bryant & Stratton College celebrates National Occupational Therapy Month and the amazing work done by OT’s and OTA’s. We recognize the efforts it takes to be a successful OTA and have created a program to help our students gain the important knowledge and experience needed to become the best OTA possible.

At Bryant & Stratton College, our occupational therapy assistant program can prepare you for a rewarding career that will allow you to help others daily. It will also give you the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, just by doing your job. Our OTA program will afford the skills you need to work under the supervision of an occupational therapist and help patients with different medical issues regain the needed mobility and independence to better perform their day-to-day activities.

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