An occupational therapy assistant is primarily responsible for assisting an occupational therapist when handling patients at a clinic or similar setting. Their duties revolve around gathering patient information and medical history, treating patients using the therapist's care plan, monitoring a patient's progress, and maintaining an accurate and extensive record. There are also instances when an assistant must discuss the conditions and extent of treatment to patients and families, as well as monitor supplies and inventory.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real occupational therapy assistant resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Order patient equipment as well as developing and fabricating inexpensive adaptive equipment for patients to use.
  • Educate patients and family members on the importance of using adaptive equipment and following proper safety precautions.
  • Provide all occupational therapy services to facility patients, including charting their progress, developing and maintaining treatment plans.
  • Assist in rebuilding the therapy department in an inner city SNF.
  • Perform therapy to patients with hip replacements, knee replacements, CVA, and multiple disorders.
  • Help patients adapt to the use of wheelchairs, braces, canes, crutches and prosthetic/orthotic devices.
  • Provide interventions for patients with a variety of diagnoses, including CVA, dementia, hip replacements, and etc.
  • Promote positive working relationships among veterans and staff.
  • Design customize accommodation that enhances participation in ADL and leisure activities.
  • Complete treatment documentation per Medicare guidelines for proper reimbursement of services.
  • Conduct individual and group sessions with veterans living in palliative/dementia care.
  • Provide therapeutic exercises to assist with patient mobility and ADL activity tolerance.
  • Instruct, motivate, and assist patients practicing exercise and functional activities, under direction and supervision of therapist.
  • Work together with interdisciplinary rehabilitation team members to develop and implement treatment plan consistent with the functional needs of each patient.
  • Facilitate and encourage patient participation and improve occupational performance within the SNF environment.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 27% of Occupational Therapy Assistants are proficient in Patients, Rehabilitation, and Home Health. They’re also known for soft skills such as Detail oriented, Physical strength, and Compassion.

We break down the percentage of Occupational Therapy Assistants that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Patients, 27%

    Performed individual patient treatment under OT supervision Assessed and screened patients Assisted patients to achieve planned goals Properly documented patient's progress

  • Rehabilitation, 22%

    Completed many quarterly interdisciplinary rehabilitation screens.

  • Home Health, 11%

    Provide quality care through prescribed skilled therapeutic intervention under supervision of Registered Occupational Therapist in Home Health environment.

  • Patient Care, 10%

    Provide direct patient care to geriatric population with orthopedic, neurological, degenerative diseases, amputations and medical complications.

  • Therapy Programs, 4%

    Assisted occupational therapists in planning, implementing and administering therapy programs.

  • Acute Care, 3%

    Performed skilled therapeutic treatments in an acute care setting under direct supervision of an Occupational Therapist.

Most occupational therapy assistants list "patients," "rehabilitation," and "home health" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important occupational therapy assistant responsibilities here:

  • Detail oriented can be considered to be the most important personality trait for an occupational therapy assistant to have. According to a occupational therapy assistant resume, "occupational therapy assistants and aides must quickly and accurately follow the instructions, both written and spoken, of an occupational therapist" occupational therapy assistants are able to use detail oriented in the following example we gathered from a resume: "provide occupational therapy services to homebound patients collaborate/consult with therapists, nurses and administrators write notes detailing each visit"
  • Another trait important for fulfilling occupational therapy assistant duties is physical strength. According to a occupational therapy assistant resume, "assistants and aides need to have a moderate degree of strength because of the physical exertion required to assist patients." Here's an example of how occupational therapy assistants are able to utilize physical strength: "demonstrated skills in providing direct patient care individuals with physical disabilities and functional limitations. "
  • Compassion is also an important skill for occupational therapy assistants to have. This example of how occupational therapy assistants use this skill comes from a occupational therapy assistant resume, "occupational therapy assistants and aides frequently work with patients who struggle with many of life’s basic activities" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "earned repeated commendations from supervisor and patients for providing high- quality, compassionate care. "
  • An occupational therapy assistant responsibilities sometimes require "interpersonal skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "occupational therapy assistants and aides spend much of their time interacting with patients and therefore should be friendly and courteous" This resume example shows how this skill is used by occupational therapy assistants: "use effective interpersonal relations and communication skills to participate in teaching patients and families. "
  • See the full list of occupational therapy assistant skills.

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    What Rehab Technicians Do

    A rehab technician's role is to assist physical therapists and patients in a hospital or similar facility. Typically, their responsibilities revolve around gathering a patient's personal information and medical history, escorting them to corresponding rooms, and conducting initial tests and assessments. It is also essential to maintain records of all transactions, updating medical accounts promptly and accurately. Furthermore, a rehab technician may also perform basic treatments under the supervision of a physical therapist. There are also instances when they have to sanitize and clean therapy equipment, all in adherence to the facility's safety regulations and policies.

    In this section, we compare the average occupational therapy assistant annual salary with that of a rehab technician. Typically, rehab technicians earn a $22,148 lower salary than occupational therapy assistants earn annually.

    Even though occupational therapy assistants and rehab technicians have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require patients, rehabilitation, and home health in the day-to-day roles.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, an occupational therapy assistant responsibilities require skills like "patient care," "therapy programs," "occupational therapy treatments," and "adaptive." Meanwhile a typical rehab technician has skills in areas such as "customer service," "cpr," "cleanliness," and "taking care." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Rehab technicians receive the highest salaries in the health care industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $29,851. But occupational therapy assistants are paid more in the education industry with an average salary of $52,020.

    On average, rehab technicians reach similar levels of education than occupational therapy assistants. Rehab technicians are 0.2% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 1.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Rehabilitation Aide?

    A rehabilitation aide is responsible for assisting patients with injuries, mental disorders, and illnesses in their treatment plans and medications. Rehabilitation aides monitor the patients' progress and update attending physicians regarding their conditions. They also prepare treatment rooms, including the materials and equipment for the medical procedures, and discuss the process with the patients. A rehabilitation aide must be highly organizational, especially in attending to different patients' needs and ensuring the safety and security of all facilities and assets.

    Now we're going to look at the rehabilitation aide profession. On average, rehabilitation aides earn a $22,369 lower salary than occupational therapy assistants a year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Occupational therapy assistants and rehabilitation aides both include similar skills like "patients," "rehabilitation," and "home health" on their resumes.

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real occupational therapy assistant resumes. While occupational therapy assistant responsibilities can utilize skills like "patient care," "therapy programs," "acute care," and "occupational therapy treatments," some rehabilitation aides use skills like "cpr," "cleanliness," "data entry," and "vital signs."

    On average, rehabilitation aides earn a lower salary than occupational therapy assistants. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, rehabilitation aides earn the most pay in the health care industry with an average salary of $29,100. Whereas, occupational therapy assistants have higher paychecks in the education industry where they earn an average of $52,020.

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, rehabilitation aides tend to reach similar levels of education than occupational therapy assistants. In fact, they're 0.3% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Student Assistant Technician Compares

    In a music therapy internship, an intern's duties primarily depend on the directives of a manager or supervising staff. Typically, they are responsible for gaining industry insights and practical experience while performing support tasks such as answering calls and correspondence, preparing and processing documents, conducting research and analysis, setting-up instruments and other devices, and running errands as needed. They may also assist and work with clients under the supervision of a therapist. Moreover, they must understand and adhere to the facility's policies and regulations, including its vision and mission.

    Let's now take a look at the student assistant technician profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than occupational therapy assistants with a $20,808 difference per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several occupational therapy assistants and student assistant technicians we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "patients," "rehabilitation," and "patient care," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from occupational therapy assistants resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "home health," "therapy programs," "occupational therapy treatments," and "adaptive." But a student assistant technician might have skills like "iadl," "adaptive equipment," "mental health," and "vital signs."

    When it comes to education, student assistant technicians tend to earn similar education levels than occupational therapy assistants. In fact, they're 0.5% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.4% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Music Therapy Internship

    The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than occupational therapy assistants. On average, music therapy interns earn a difference of $13,809 lower per year.

    While their salaries may vary, occupational therapy assistants and music therapy interns both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "patients," "patient care," and "occupational therapy. "

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "rehabilitation," "home health," "therapy programs," and "acute care" are skills that have shown up on occupational therapy assistants resumes. Additionally, music therapy internship uses skills like mental health, individual therapy sessions, group therapy sessions, and substance abuse on their resumes.

    Music therapy interns reach higher levels of education when compared to occupational therapy assistants. The difference is that they're 13.0% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 1.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.