Profession occupational therapy assistant

Occupational therapy assistants support occupational therapists by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement. They work under the supervision of an occupational therapist.  

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Personality Type

  • Social / Realistic

Knowledge

  • Movement techniques

    The various types of movement and physical postures undertaken for relaxation, body-mind integration, stress reduction, flexibility, core support and rehabilitation purposes, and that are required for or underpin occupational performance.

  • Occupational science

    The study of everyday activity including the behaviours, characteristics, and patterns of behaviour and productivity.

  • Supervision of persons

    The act of directing one individual or a group of individuals in a certain activity.

  • Health care occupation-specific ethics

    The moral standards and procedures, ethical questions and obligations specific to occupations in a health care setting such as respect for human dignity, self-determination, informed consent and patient confidentiality.

  • Hygiene in a health care setting

    The procedures related to maintaining a hygienic environment within a health care setting such as hospitals and clinics. It can range from hand washing to cleaning and disinfection of medical equipment used and infection control methods.

  • Community based rehabilitation

    The method of rehabilitation which involves the creation of social programs for the impaired or disabled persons to allow them integration into the community.

  • Ergonomics

    The science of designing systems, processes and products that complement the strengths of people so that they can use them easily and safely.

  • Vocational rehabilitation

    The rehabilitation process of persons with functional, psychological, developmental, cognitive and emotional impairments or health disabilities to overcome barriers to accessing, maintaining or returning to employment or other useful occupation.

  • Occupational physiology

    The complex physiology of specific jobs and its relation to disorders and medical conditions and the way to optimize health, work ability, and productivity.

Skills

  • Develop therapeutic relationships

    Maintain the individual therapeutic relationship to engage the individual's innate healing capacities, to achieve active collaboration in the health education and healing process and to maximise the potential of healthy change.

  • Assist healthcare users achieve autonomy in everyday activities

    Assist healthcare users to achieve autonomy in all types of activity, like dressing, cooking, eating, and using a computer.

  • Interact with healthcare users

    Communicate with clients and their carer’s, with the patient’s permission, to keep them informed about the clients’ and patients’ progress and safeguarding confidentiality.

  • Empathise with the healthcare user

    Understand the background of clients` and patients’ symptoms, difficulties and behaviour. Be empathetic about their issues; showing respect and reinforcing their autonomy, self-esteem and independence. Demonstrate a concern for their welfare and handle according to the personal boundaries, sensitivities, cultural differences and preferences of the client and patient in mind.

  • Ensure safety of healthcare users

    Make sure that healthcare users are being treated professionally, effectively and safe from harm, adapting techniques and procedures according to the person's needs, abilities or the prevailing conditions.

  • Monitor patients' progress related to treatment

    Observe and report on healthcare users' response to medical treatment, monitoring their progress or decay on a daily basis and modifying the treatment procedures whenever necessary.

  • Communicate effectively in healthcare

    Communicate effectively with patients, families and other caregivers, health care professionals, and community partners.

  • Remediate healthcare user's occupational performance

    Remediate or restore the cognitive, sensorimotor, or psychosocial components of the healthcare user`s occupational performance.

  • Exercise patience

    Have patience by dealing with unexpected delays or other waiting periods without becoming annoyed or anxious.

  • Apply techniques of occupational therapy

    Apply occupational therapy techniques, such as retraining, and splinting in the rehabilitation and recovery of patients, and advising patients on their daily activities.

  • Facilitate healthcare user's engagement in occupations

    Identify meaningful and healthy occupations and strategies in partnership with the healthcare user, to enable him to reach his goals.

  • Listen actively

    Give attention to what other people say, patiently understand points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times; able to listen carefully the needs of customers, clients, passengers, service users or others, and provide solutions accordingly.

  • Follow clinical guidelines

    Follow agreed protocols and guidelines in support of healthcare practice which are provided by healthcare institutions, professional associations, or authorities and also scientific organisations.

  • Instruct on the use of special equipment for daily activities

    Instruct on how to use specialised equipment such as wheelchairs and eating aids in their daily activities.

Optional knowledge and skills

first aid perform occupation analyses perform patient activity analyses deal with emergency care situations kinesiology orthopaedics create individual treatment programmes geriatrics human physiology record healthcare users' progress related to treatment physical medicine assist in performing physical exercises mechanotherapy apply health sciences neurology rehabilitation develop a rehabilitation programme general medicine occupational therapy theories provide health education health care legislation work in multidisciplinary health teams