Many colleges throughout the U.S. offer occupational therapy assistant training programs. Students in these programs complete hands-on clinical practica, in addition to lecture-based coursework. Programs can usually be completed in about two years, and graduates are typically prepared for professional licensure or registration, which is required for occupational therapy assistants in most states.
Here are some common concepts found in occupational therapist assistant classes:
- The human body and human dysfunction
- Medical documentation
- Interpersonal and interprofessional communication
- Ethical practices
- Fitness planning
- Current medical and exercise science theories
List of Common Courses
Foundations of Occupational Therapy Course
This course is found at the beginning of an occupational therapy assisting program and introduces students to the role of an occupational therapy assistant, as well as the standards, organizations, ethics and legal issues related to this field. Students examine and analyze current and emerging practices in a variety of medical and community settings. Class discussions also focus on the ethical implications of therapeutic intervention, occupational responsibility and patient privacy. The course offers essential introduction to research methods, educational resources, medical databases and multimedia search tools.
Human Anatomy & Physiology Course
Students in this course study the structure, anatomy and physiology of the human body and the mechanisms that sustain it. The course is found towards the beginning of an occupational therapy assisting program and covers basic principles of chemistry, cell and tissue structures as well as the various systems within the human body. Additional topics in the course include the study of cardiovascular, reproductive, urinary and respiratory systems within the human body.
Physical Rehabilitation Course
A physical rehabilitation course offers students an introduction to basic concepts in physical therapy rehabilitation. Students learn to interview patients, identify problems, document medical procedures and work with patients with various disabilities. Topics covered in the class include proper handling of patients, treatment plans, terminology, philosophy and ethics of rehabilitation. This course is often found in the middle of an occupational therapy assisting associate's degree program.
Introduction to Psychology Course
This course offers students an introduction to some of the basic theories in current psychology such as personality theory, psychological disorders and developmental psychology. Occupational therapy students learn to identify and discuss biological bases that govern behavior through the study of neurocellular, neurophysiological and neurochemical processes. At the end of the course, students should have a basic understanding of the basic principles, major theories and research concerning psychological health, development and abnormalities.