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Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

Essential Functions for OTAs

The following is a list of essential functions that a student must be capable of performing while enrolled in the Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy Program. Students who have concerns about their ability to perform any of these functions should contact the Program Director and the Campus ODS officer. Students may be entitled to reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students should remember that the role of the OTA in most settings is the direct provision of services to clients requiring safe and effective contact with them.

Motor Skills

A student must be able to:

  • Sit in class for up to 6 hours per day.
  • Move with adequate agility and speed to ensure client safety.
  • Walk, balance, and have adequate strength to facilitate the mobility of a client who may or may not use equipment, while preventing injury to client and self. (This includes but is not limited to assisting with transfers.)
  • Demonstrate the sensorimotor skills, mobility, and general endurance necessary to effectively and safely complete all learning tasks, contribute to the occupational therapy evaluation process, and implement intervention techniques in the academic and fieldwork environments

Observational and Sensory Skills

A student must be able to:

  • Use visual, auditory, and tactile senses to observe clients and collect and interpret data.
  • Read and understand client charts, professional literature, and notes from clients, physicians, and other health professionals.
  • Respond to warning sounds and calls for help.

Communication Skills

A student must be able to:

  • Communicate effectively in English in verbal and written formats with faculty, peers, patients, families, and other health professionals.
  • Report clearly and legibly through appropriate documentation.
  • Use professional terminology correctly and accurately interpret its meaning to others.

Intellectual and Conceptual Skills

A student must be able to:

  • Meet class standards for successful course completion.
  • Acquire, demonstrate, and apply the knowledge and skills of occupational therapy principles and practice.

Behavioral and Social Attitudes

A student must be able to:

  • Recognize and respond appropriately to individuals of all ages, genders, and races, and from all socio-economic, religious, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Cope with stress effectively.
  • Recognize and respond appropriately to potentially hazardous situations.
  • Demonstrate the physical and emotional capacity to work a 40-hour week while on clinical affiliation.
  • Behave in an ethically sound, competent, compassionate, and professional manner in the classroom and in the clinic.
  • Abide by the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, and policies and procedures of the university, the program, and the fieldwork sites;
  • Modify one's own behavior/performance in response to feedback from instructors, fieldwork educators, and peers to achieve the learning objectives and the responsibilities of the program and fieldwork sites.