Occupational Therapy Aide  What They Do

Just the Facts


Under close supervision of an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant, performs only delegated, selected or routine tasks in specific situations. These duties include preparing the patient and treatment room.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Observes patients' attendance, progress, attitudes, and accomplishments and records and maintains information in client records.
  • Encourages patients and attends to their physical needs to facilitate the attainment of therapeutic goals.
  • Reports to supervisors or therapists, verbally or in writing, on patients' progress, attitudes, attendance, and accomplishments.
  • Supervises patients in choosing and completing work assignments or arts and crafts projects.
  • Manages intradepartmental infection control and equipment security.
  • Evaluates the living skills and capacities of physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabled clients.
  • Prepares and maintains work area, materials, and equipment and maintain inventory of treatment and educational supplies.
  • Transports patients to and from the occupational therapy work area.
  • Instructs patients and families in work, social, and living skills, the care and use of adaptive equipment, and other skills to facilitate home and work adjustment to disability.
  • Assists occupational therapists in planning, implementing, and administering therapy programs to restore, reinforce, and enhance performance, using selected activities and special equipment.

Multimedia

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Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects

Work Hours and Travel

  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Occupational Therapist -- Plans, organizes, and conducts medically-oriented occupational programs in hospitals or similar institutions to rehabilitate patients who are physically or mentally challenged.