Online Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Classes and Courses

Oct 24, 2019

Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) work under the direct supervision of licensed occupational therapists to help people regain the skills required for adequate daily functioning. Aspiring OTAs can complete some of the courses required for certification online, though hands-on experience is also required.

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Online Courses for OTAs

Here are some of the courses that are commonly offered through partially online occupational therapy assistant (OTA) programs.

  • As an overview of the field of occupational therapy, the Introduction to Occupational Therapy online course provides foundational information concerning the history of the profession and ethical guidelines from which it's practiced. Responsibilities of occupational therapy assistants and the various populations served by OTAs are introduced and discussed.
  • The Health Care Provider Basics online course introduces students to HIPAA regulations, common medical terminology, and infection control procedures required of all health care providers. As health care providers, OTAs must be familiar with specific legal requirements of practice and exhibit certain skills and abilities.
  • In a Physical Disabilities course, students learn the importance of record keeping and communication skills, especially when working with diverse populations in the successful treatment of those with physical dysfunctions and disabilities. Occupational therapy assistants participate in the evaluation, treatment, and assessment of patients with physical disabilities.
  • Through an online course in Therapeutic Activities, aspiring OTAs learn various techniques and assessment methods used in occupational therapy assistance. They're introduced to the use of crafting as a form of therapy, in addition to learning about the benefits of videotaping to improve a patient's body mechanics.
  • In a Kinesiology course, students will study the qualitative and quantitative methods for examining movement, integrating knowledge of anatomy and physiology with physics and biomechanics. Students will learn muscle tests and range of motion principles, gaining a fundamental understanding of how to apply these concepts to patient analysis and intervention.
  • Students in a course on Daily Living Activities examine how occupational therapy can help individuals with different disabilities perform a variety of daily activities. Emphasis is placed on determining a patient's needs and helping them achieve the highest possible level of independence.
  • During an Adaptive Equipment course, students learn about the medical devices that occupational therapists use to help their patients achieve independence. The curriculum focuses on the technology that is most commonly used.

Program Information

Though labs and fieldwork experience are included in program requirements, most other OTA certification requirements are available online through various colleges and universities. Topics of study include therapeutic techniques, psychology, and ethical guidelines. After completing online training and all necessary fieldwork, graduates of accredited programs are eligible for certification and may pursue positions as OTAs in hospitals, schools, pediatric clinics, retirement and nursing homes, hospice care facilities, and rehabilitation centers.

Online programs can lead to an associate's degree, diploma, or certificate. Aspiring OTAs can get much of the training they need through online courses. These courses introduce students to the fundamentals of medical treatment, as well as techniques and technologies that are specific to the occupational therapy field.

Expert Contributor: Kristyn Blandford Kristyn has a master's degree and 11+ years' experience in health-related fields, including administration, client services, and clinical supervision.

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