Many people have heard of the terms physical therapy assistants as well as physical therapy aides and there is only but a thin line between the two occupations. For one individual to become an occupational therapist assistant he should at least have an associate degree while an occupational therapist aide would have theirs on-the-job-training in order to qualify for the job.
However, there are certain states within the country which would require their occupation therapist assistants or simply known as OTA to have their license or permits registration while other states would only require certification from their school attended. It all depends on the State's law and some states have stricter regulations while others have lenient laws with regards to this matter.
With regards to the employment opportunities for these two occupations, it has been projected that by the year 2012 and 2013 the rate of demand would be higher than the previous years simply because the population of people aged 50 years and beyond are also rising in the country . Even those individuals who only have high school diploma but have undergone training can certainly get a job as an occupational therapist aide. However, if you live in a community where there is a tight competition in the said industry it would be best if one has a certification of training as well as an associate degree.
Nature of Profession
Both occupational therapists and aides work hand in hand with a certified occupational therapist. They are tasked to give assistance to the patient in order to ensure that patients who are suffering from mental and physical disabilities will be collectively healed so that the patient can live a normal life again.
The work of an OTA (occupational therapist assistant) would involve collaborating with an OT (occupational therapist). The OTA would make sure that the rehabilitation physical activities of the patient will be transported out as proposed by the OT. Depending on the patient's severity of case, the physical activities may involve simple motor skill exercises to complex activities for the treatment of the individual's physical or mental impairment. Such activities as teaching the patient how to maneuver his own wheelchair as well as demonstrating to the patient how to properly execute an exercise to ease the tension from the muscle are all part of an assistant's job. They are also tasked to keep track of the patient's daily progress so that the therapist may see if there is any good improvement with the status of the patient's health. If there is any good progress with regards to the patient's health then it means that the treatment is effective otherwise it would mean that the patient is not responding well to his treatment or it may also mean that the assistant is not doing his job by guiding the patient the proper way to execute the treatment. Aside from the above tasks the assistants are also expected to send the patient's bill to his primary health insurance so that charges will be directly charged over to his insurance.