Online Occupational Therapy Assistant Certifications and Classes
Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) aid occupational therapists in rehabilitating patients with physical, developmental or mental impairments. Upon completion of an online associate degree program and in-person clinical training, you will be eligible to take the national certification exam. Read more about prerequisites and coursework for this program, and review the certification process.
What You Need to Know
As an occupational therapy assistant (OTA), you can help patients who suffer from disabilities or physical impairments function more independently. Training programs are available that offer some coursework online, though in-person training is also required. In order to pursue a career as an OTA, you are required to complete certification and also be licensed at the state level.
|Online||Hybrid programs are available|
|Classes||Developmental disabilities; therapeutic adaptation; ethics, society and professional practice; life span growth and development in humans; fundamentals of gerontology; applied anatomy and kinesiology|
|Certification||Available from the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy|
How Will Online Classes Help Me Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant?
Online classes will help you gain the communication and health care skills necessary to evaluate and treat clients. However, no program is completely online, since a large part of the training involves the clinical application of learned skills. Web classes prepare you for hands-on field and lab work by covering theories and methodologies, such as these:
- Occupational therapy history
- Treatment techniques
- Geriatric psychology
- Child development
- Physical dysfunction
- Psychosocial therapy
Are There Any Prerequisites?
Before digging into OTA coursework, you'll need to take college-level courses in anatomy and physiology, psychology and English composition. Some programs also strongly recommend demonstrated proficiency in speech communication and computer literacy. Basic knowledge of medical terminology and mathematical modeling will serve you well as you begin your OTA training. You may be required to complete certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and have both a clean criminal background check and a health screening before being admitted into a clinical internship.
Will I Need to Gain Certification?
Before you can work as an OTA, you must pass the certification exam given by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (www.nbcot.org). Education from an accredited online OTA degree program qualifies you to sit for the exam. Once you've completed the certification exam, most states require you to become licensed, so check the specific regulations for your location.
What Career Options Do I Have?
As an OTA, you can provide valuable services to a diverse range of people in a number of settings. You may work at a nursing home assisting geriatric residents in enjoying leisure activities. You could help rehabilitate people with impairments from illnesses or injuries to regain the functions necessary to perform their jobs. You might teach a child with a developmental disorder at a public school. You can also find employment at locations such as:
- Community centers