Occupational Therapy Aides play a key role in helping patients heal and recover from their pain and distress. They generally work under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist. They are required to work with the patients on a rehabilitation plan that is developed by Occupational Therapists. Their duties may include counseling the injured patients in stretching and strengthening their muscles and assist the disabled people to find a way to lead a normal life in the society without being heavily dependent on others.
The Occupational Therapy Aides work at hospitals, occupational therapists’ offices, residential care facilities, health care agencies, family services, government agencies etc.
To qualify for the position of an Occupational Therapy Aide, students must complete two year’s of associate degree with the coursework in Medical terminology, Anatomy and Physiology, Psychology, Rehabilitation Theory and Gerontology. The aspiring Occupational Therapy Aides may also get hands-on experience while doing supervised fieldwork in clinics or community organizations.
Many states in the United States, do require certification. The Occupational Therapy Aides may opt for certification programs from the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT).
Salary & Job Outlook: The job outlook for Occupational Therapy Aides remains excellent. It will have a projected growth of 41 per cent during the period of 2012-22 – much above the national average. The average annual salary for Occupational Therapy Aides was $26,850 in May 2012.