Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Occupation Therapy University or College Programs Combine Therapy and Practical Application

Occupational therapy university or college programs, typically called Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapist Assistant, are becoming increasingly popular. That’s because as our population ages, temporary or permanent limitations related to movement and occupational performance are creating a need for registered therapists to direct and collaborate with their occupational therapist assistant and physiotherapist assistant (OTA & PTA) to deliver safe competent care.

The Occupational Therapist Assistant program at Centennial College takes just two years to complete but offers students the knowledge and skills to work with clients in need of assistance to perform self-care, promote movement, improve function and participate in leisure activities. Additional areas of instruction and development include: respect and caring for the uniqueness of individuals, effective communication, critical thinking and decision-making.

Applicants to this occupation therapy offering must have completed an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. In addition, they must possess Compulsory English 12C, or U or skills assessment, or equivalent and Biology 11C or U or equivalent. Possession of minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission into the occupation therapy training.

It is important to note that due to the nature of this profession, those who graduate from Occupational therapy university or college programs will be required to tolerate regular physical activity during the course of their work day. It is recommended that applicants have a high level of fitness when entering such programs.

Once they are accepted to Centennial College, to properly learn the before mentioned occupation therapy concepts, students are led by faculty members who ensure they provide students with the educational tools, training and hands-on experience that is necessary to meet career challenges with enthusiasm, professionalism and current industry knowledge.

As such, students not only partake in on-campus exercises in a clinical setting, they also experience two field placements. Being on-the-job provides opportunities for the supervised application of skills in a variety of clinical settings, with a range of client populations. Working along with a preceptor and under the supervision of an occupational therapist or physiotherapist, students have the opportunity to demonstrate and practice their skills.

“We really get to work with the patients,” says Fiona, a student of the Occupational Therapist Assistant program, “moving them while they’re in bed, moving their arms and legs and ensuring a range of motion. We get to teach them exercise classes and strengthening exercises. We’re taking what we’re learning in lab and applying it in the field.”

In order to partake in the occupation therapy fieldwork placement, requirements include CPR Level HCP (Health Care Provider) and standard first aid certification, a clear vulnerable police check prior to semester 2, immunization review form and completion of a mask fit test.

In the field, occupation Therapy university or college program grads find employment in a range of settings such as: hospitals, nursing homes, seniors’ residences, extended care facilities, schools, clinics, rehabilitation centres and the private industry.

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