A career as an occupational therapy assistant can be incredibly rewarding for those who are suited to the work. Occupational therapy assistants, under the supervision of an occupational therapist, take a client-centered approach to help people with a variety of injuries, illnesses and disabilities, assisting them in developing, recovering and improving the skills they need to enjoy a fulfilling life and career.
This work might look different from day to day, depending on the setting and the clients. These professionals sometimes help disabled or injured clients with therapeutic activities or exercises to improve their mobility, or guide developmentally disabled children in play activities to promote their coordination and social skills. They might also coach clients in the use of assistive devices, or teach them new skills or strategies for overcoming the challenges presented by their disability.
Whatever form it takes, occupational therapy is a tremendously valuable service for those seeking to assert their independence and develop the skills needed to live their best lives, and occupational therapy assistants play an essential role in that process. With good pay, high and growing demand and training that can be completed in only 44 weeks, occupational therapy is a very promising career path for anyone looking to make a difference in the lives of others.
Here’s how to know for sure if an occupational therapy assistant program is right for you.
Good Communication Skills are Essential in Occupational Therapy Careers
If you want to become an occupational therapy assistant, you’ll need to have good communication skills. These are important for connecting with clients, and providing them with feedback, coaching and guidance. You’ll also be regularly communicating with your supervising occupational therapist and other colleagues.
If you’re good at listening, speaking clearly and giving and taking directions, then you might be well-suited to a career as an occupational therapy assistant.
You Have Good Interpersonal Skills and Enjoy Working with People
Occupational therapy assistants spend all day working with people – clients, colleagues, other specialists and their supervising occupational therapist. If you’re a team player with excellent interpersonal skills and an eagerness to work in a client-centered environment, then you might thrive in this highly personable line of work.
You Don’t Mind a Job That Keeps You on Your Feet
Once you’ve completed an occupational therapy assistant program, you can expect to engage in fairly regular physical activity in the course of your work. Occupational therapy assistants spend most of their shifts on their feet, setting up equipment, transporting clients, assisting them through their therapy and cleaning up and putting away equipment afterwards, so if you’re interested in this career path, you should be okay with a job that keeps you moving.
You’re Patient, Dedicated and Prepared for Challenges
While it’s a rewarding career, being an occupational therapy assistant isn’t always easy. Clients are often facing very difficult and frustrating challenges, and sessions can sometimes be physically and emotionally draining for both them and their therapists and assistants. Anyone interested in occupational therapy assistant training should be prepared for the unique challenges that come with the work.
Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant If You Want a Job Helping People
Despite the challenges, being an occupational therapy assistant is a fulfilling and gratifying job. You get to help people regain their independence, develop or recover important life skills and overcome their limitations. For anyone who wants to go to work every day and make a tangible difference in the lives of others, this is an excellent career choice.
Are you interested in a rewarding new career as an occupational therapy assistant?
Contact KLC College for more information about our occupational therapist assistant course.