Hodges University announces new Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

Hodges University News

Hodges University announced today that it will begin offering pre-requisite classes for students interested in obtaining an Associate degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA). Students will be able to begin studying for the program this fall while the university secures specialty accreditation from the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).

“We are excited to be offering this new program in a health care profession that is growing in demand and opportunity,” said Ms. Marcia Hamilton, OTA Program Chair. “This program fills a critical need in our area, benefitting not only our students, but patients in need of this specialized treatment as well as area employers in both the health care industry and education.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of occupational therapy assistants is expected to increase 41 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. The national median annual salary for occupational therapy assistants is just under $49,000.

Occupational therapy assistants help patients develop, recover and improve the skills needed for daily living, growth and development and community participation. Working under the direction of a Registered Occupational Therapist, occupational therapy assistants help patients through the use of therapeutic activities, teach patients how to use special equipment and record patients’ progress. Occupational therapy assistants also help children with developmental disabilities through play activities that promote coordination, perceptual skills, socialization and organization.

“Occupational therapy assistants work with people of all ages who are challenged by disability, trauma or the aging process to participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities,” Hamilton said. “Some of the tasks that we do every day and take for granted can become difficult when people are faced with injury, illness or developmental problems. When patients gain strength and the adaptive strategies that enable them to overcome obstacles, they gain feelings of control and competency. Basically, occupational therapy assistants help people live life to its fullest.”

Most states require occupational therapy assistants to be licensed and certified. Licensure typically requires the completion of an accredited occupational therapy assistant education program and completion of all fieldwork requirements. An OTA must also pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam to use the title "Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant" (COTA). They must also take continuing education classes to maintain certification.

For more information regarding the new occupational therapy assistant program at Hodges University, call 1-844-HODGES U.

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