Occupational Therapy Assistant Online Degree Programs

As an occupational therapy assistant, you'll work under the supervision of an occupational therapist to help patients live more independent and fulfilling lives. Read on for more information about how you can earn an occupational therapy assistant degree through online study and what courses you'll take. Keep reading for career and certification information. Schools offering Occupational Therapy Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn an Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree Online?

You're unlikely to find a fully online occupational therapy assistant program. This is because of the hands-on nature of the field and the study. More common are associate degree programs that allow you to complete a portion of the coursework online. During these hybrid programs, you can still expect to complete clinical courses and fieldwork in local hospitals, physician's offices and other sites.

Be sure to look for programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). If you graduate from an accredited program, you will be eligible to sit for the national occupational therapy assistant certification examination. Not all programs - fully online or hybrid - are ACOTE accredited, so you may need to make a decision about what is most important and perhaps check with potential employers about their requirements.

Online Options Hybrid programs are most common and allow you to complete clinical practicum locally and the rest of the coursework online
Common Courses Psychology, patient care, communication, anatomy, life sciences
The Work Working alongside an OT to help patients with mental and physical disabilities in various medical and rehabilitation facilities
Getting Certified The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) provides nationally-recognized certification; some states have additional requirements for licensure

What Will I Learn?

In this associate degree program, you'll spend time learning about patient care and rehabilitation skills. Your studies will include psychology, sociology and communication courses. Anatomy and life science courses are often found in the curriculum. Along with these courses, you'll be expected to complete a clinical component, which allows you to observe and participate in occupational therapy interventions with patients of all ages.

What Will I Do as an Occupational Therapy Assistant?

As an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA), you'll work alongside occupational therapists to help patients with mental and physical disabilities function more independently during work, hobbies and daily life. You'll help disabled people learn (or relearn, for the newly disabled) how to cook, dress, take buses, sew, clean their living space, perform leisure activities and care for themselves. You'll also provide them with tools to complete daily activities. Upon graduation and certification, you'll be prepared to work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and schools.

How Do I Become Certified?

The National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) offers certification exams. This certification is nationally recognized; however, some states may require additional licensure. Be sure to check with your state's licensing board for any additional requirements. If you have a felony on your record, you may not be able to sit for the exam. The NBCOT offers an early determination review for those who are concerned about their record. It's a good idea to apply for this review prior to application to an OTA program.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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