In a newly-released study (JIST,2008) occupational therapy assistant was named one of the 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs. Occupational therapists are expected to employ more assistants to reduce the cost of their services. Once a patient is evaluated and the therapist designs a treatment plan, the OTA can provide many aspects of treatment.
Improved technology is another reason for the higher demand for OTAs. Chronic illnesses that once caused death have better prognosis and treatments. Today we can detect problems in infants and children much earlier and provide early intervention.
Occupational therapy assistants can work with adults who have suffered traumas such as strokes and spinal cord injuries as well as children with disabilities such as Down Syndrome, ADD/ADHD, and autism. In addition, OTAs can choose to work in a hand therapy clinic specializing in hand injuries or consult with manufacturing industries in the prevention of on-the-job injuries.
Many occupational therapist assistants also advance into administration positions. They may manage a large occupational therapy department in a hospital or act as the director for a specific department such as the dementia unit in a nursing home. Some assistants go on to teach classes in accredited occupational therapy assistant academic programs or lead health risk reduction classes for the elderly. Others prefer working in research.
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