Why ADLs Will Come up in Your Career After an Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

become an occupational therapy assistantMany of us take activities of daily living (ADLs) for granted, but what happens when life circumstances suddenly cause us to need help with them? This is where occupational therapy steps in to help people with their ADLs.

ADLs are usually separated into two categories: basic and instrumental. The former often consists of tasks like dressing, grooming, bathing, and eating, while the latter represents more complex tasks such as preparing meals, doing laundry, shopping for groceries, and driving. This is by no means an exhaustive list of ADLs, but you can certainly anticipate encountering them in your career.

After completing your occupational therapy assistant (OTA) program, you’ll be working to help individuals perform these daily tasks more easily. If you can help someone to regain their independence and try overcoming their circumstances, you can help lead them to a happier and freer life. Here’s why ADLs will be a major component of your responsibilities if you’re seeking a career as an occupational therapy assistant.

Occupational Therapy Assistants Help Patients Regain Their Independence

Whether through injury, illness, disability, or chronic condition, the ability of children, adults, and seniors to perform daily tasks can be greatly impeded. As an occupational therapy assistant, you’ll be expected to carry out the OT’s treatment plan to ensure the patient can regain a sense of freedom despite their limitations, and help put it into action — even if it means teaching them alternative strategies to perform tasks to compensate for their circumstances.

Under the supervision of an occupational therapist, you will be providing patients with therapeutic activities that can help improve their functioning and ability to complete certain tasks. To become an occupational therapy assistant is to help people reclaim their self-sufficiency, and doing so successfully will be a great source of satisfaction for you, the OT supervising you, and the patient.

Help patients regain their independence after occupational therapy assistant training

Help patients regain their independence after occupational therapy assistant training

ADLs Will Come Up When Patients are Relearning Tasks Through Injury or Disability

Some patients are in need of occupational therapy through an injury to their extremities and/or an illness that has caused them to need to relearn skills that once came so easily. As a result, these patients will need assistance with basic and/or instrumental ADLs, and the OTA will be responsible for teaching them how to carry out those tasks again.

After your occupational therapy assistant program, you may also work with the disabled, such as helping children with autism with social interaction, or those with any other developmental or physical disability. You will learn about neurological and communication disorders in your program, as well as various other aspects of the profession, to better understand how to give optimal treatment and activities that best suit these patients. It’s important not only to regularly monitor how patients progress with these activities, but to also offer positive reinforcement and encouragement along the way.

KLC College’s occupational therapy assistant program includes a work placement

KLC College’s occupational therapy assistant program includes a work placement

You’ll Cater to a Variety of Needs When You Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant

People often need occupational therapy for coordinating their motor function, but also for their cognitive and/or sensory function, or other psychosocial factors. You may interact with patients with various physical limitations early in your career as well, since OTA programs often include a work placement component in environments like a hospital, physiotherapy clinic, and/or a long-term care facility.

Examination results for each patient will be different, and some may need more help with rudimentary tasks such as personal hygiene, eating, or using the bathroom, while others may be in more need of assistance with going to places outside their home, caring for their pets, or even communicating and socializing with others. Either way, there’s a learning curve for each patient, but adapting to it successfully will help them along the road to recovery.

Want to enroll in an occupational therapy assistant course?

Contact KLC College to find out more!

3 Places You Could Work When You Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant

occupational therapy assistant program

If you’re looking for a career where you get to make a positive difference in the lives of people every day, you may want to consider becoming an occupational therapy assistant (OTA). Working alongside occupational therapists, OTAs help individuals who have injuries, disabilities, and physical or mental impairments develop or recover the skills they need to participate in everyday activities.

OTAs play an essential role in our healthcare system and they can be found working in a wide variety of healthcare settings. If you’re training to become an OTA, you’ll be qualified to work in a variety of settings once you graduate. Read on to learn more.

1. OTAs Assist with Stroke Rehabilitation at Hospitals & Rehabilitation Centres

OTAs assist individuals who are on the path to recovery after a traumatic event or injury. Often, OTAs work in hospitals and rehabilitation centres helping to rehabilitate patients. Working with individuals who have suffered strokes is especially common in such settings, with some hospitals having dedicated facilities just for stroke patients. Rehabilitation centres also often focus extensively on helping stroke patients recover.

Such patients will usually see a team of specialists, including occupational therapists and OTAs. The occupational therapist will develop a plan for the patient, which the OTA will help to put into action. For example, while every person who has had a stroke will have different goals and care needs, as an OTA, you will assist with such things as helping the patient learn how to dress, bathe, eat, and stay mobile.

Occupational therapy assistants often assist with rehabilitation for patients at hospitals

Occupational therapy assistants often assist with rehabilitation for patients at hospitals

2. You Can Assist People in Community Living as an Occupational Therapy Assistant

Some individuals have intellectual disabilities that allow them to live somewhat independently, while still requiring occasional assistance for certain tasks. For such people, community living provides an ideal mix of independence and support. Community living can take many forms depending on the person’s individual needs and challenges.

Some individuals live at home with their families, for example, with occupational therapists and OTAs visiting occasionally to provide assistance. Others may live in a group home with other people who also have intellectual disabilities. When you become an occupational therapy assistant, you can play an important role in assisting individuals in community living. For example, you can help them with developing their fine motor and socialization skills, and with learning daily tasks, like grooming, eating, and cleaning.

3. OTAs in Retirement and Nursing Homes Can Help Address the Needs of Older Individuals

OTAs frequently work with older patients, especially in retirement and nursing homes. As part of your occupational therapy assistant program, you’ll learn about gerontology, which is the study of old age, aging, and issues that are particular to seniors. The knowledge you gain from your gerontology course can help you better understand the challenges that older clients who live in retirement and nursing homes face.

For instance, senior patients are at an elevated risk of a number of health conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease, which may require the assistance of an OTA. As an OTA, you can help such clients better manage their health conditions, such as by helping them with routine exercises, preparing food, and communicating, all of which can improve their overall quality of life.

Occupational therapy assistants use their knowledge of gerontology to work in nursing homes

Occupational therapy assistants use their knowledge of gerontology to work in nursing homes

Are you ready to begin your new career?

Contact KLC College to learn more about our occupational therapy assistant course.