If you want to work with people in the health and rehabilitation profession, think about a career as an occupational therapy assistant.
In the simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people of all ages participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:
An individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person's goals
Customized intervention to improve the person's ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals
An outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan
Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client's home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. (From AOTA Website, April 2011)
Criminal Record and Certification
All states require licensure in order to practice, however state licenses are usually based upon the results of the NBCOT examination. Be advised that a criminal record may render an individual ineligible to take the certification exam and consequently ineligible to practice as an occupational therapy assistant. If you have concerns pertaining to a past criminal record, you should contact NBCOT at 301-990-7979 to determine your eligibility for the exam.