Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Occupational Therapy Assistant, or Occupational Therapy Support Worker helps Occupational Therapists treat ill, injured or elderly people to gain mobility and increase their independence. Their duties include looking out for the well-being of patients, maintaining a record of treatment and helping patients complete therapeutic activities.


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Occupational Therapy Assistant duties and responsibilities

Occupational Therapy Assistants help people feel comfortable and independent in using their bodies in the case of disability or after illness or injury. They also help Occupational Therapists perform risk assessment and mitigation in high-risk cases. Their primary duties include:

  • Testing, evaluating and recording the physical and mental state of patients
  • Analysing previous medical history when deciding on rehabilitation goals
  • Encouraging and helping patients create a daily routine
  • Consulting with doctors and other specialists on the best course of action
  • Helping patients adjust and understand their disability
  • Teaching patients how to use home exercise and therapy equipment
  • Ensuring equipment is in good working order
  • Maintaining an accurate record of patient treatments


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Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Description Examples:


Example 1

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an assistant to join our specialised team. NICE is a charity who provide Conductive Education – a specialist input for adults with Parkinson’s, stroke, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. The successful candidate will work directly alongside our professional staff in delivering small group therapy sessions at our base in Moseley. This is an opportunity to not only support our participants but also to learn about Conductive Education as an approach to rehabilitation. Training opportunities will be available. Experience of working with adults with physical disabilities desirable. Must have a passion and desire to help our older participants realise the best quality of life possible. *Duties include: * * Assisting adult participants in the group sessions under guidance of the conductors. * Preparing and tidying of session rooms. * Supporting adult participants to move around the building safely under guidance of the conductors. * Assisting with toileting when required. * Supporting with preparation of refreshments as needed. * Desire to learn and develop skills and undertake training opportunities * Preparing display boards and resources for sessions as required. * Helping adults when arriving and leaving the centre. Hours of work are 8.30 - 4.00 Monday to Thursday and 8.30 - 2.00 on a Friday. This position is term time only. *Please click apply and then email for an application form * For more information visit: [website] *NICE – Centre for Movement Disorders is committed to safeguarding the welfare of its children and vulnerable adults. * Application deadline: 05/07/2021 Expected start date: 02/09/2021 Job Type: Permanent Salary: per year Benefits: * Company pension * On-site parking Schedule: * Monday to Friday Application question(s): * Have you got experience of working with adults with physical disabilities? Work remotely: * No

Example 2

Occupational Therapy Assistant Reference PRI49996 Location Kneesworth House, Royston, Hertfordshire, SG8 5JP Priory Group Division Healthcare Vacancy Type Permanent - Full Time Salary £18,000 Hours 37.5 Per Week Kneesworth House is situated in Cambridgeshire (on the borders of Hertfordshire) with good commuting access to / from London. The hospital offers a full pathway of care including Acute, PICU, Medium, Low Secure, Locked Rehabilitation and Open Recovery wards situated across the site. The Occupational Therapy Assistant role involves working with the OT+EVOS Service at Kneesworth House, to be actively involved in the day to day administration of the service with supervision from an Occupational Therapist. The Service aim is to provide individualised opportunities for service users to maximise their independence through the medium of occupation to promote recovery and well-being. The OT service offers 1:1 and groupwork sessions on ward, off ward & within the community. The service offers hospital wide opportunities including: Shop, Library, Vocational sessions, Animal Care, Horticulture, Work Opportunity Roles, Social Club. About us As one of the UK’s leading providers of behavioural care and specialist support services to adults and young people, Priory Group promise a challenging and fulfilling career with the support of a world class organisation willing to invest in your development. Across our network of hospitals, residential care homes, education facilities and supported living services, we are making a real and lasting difference to the lives of the people we support. Disclosure All roles will be subject to a successful disclosure at an appropriate level from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), Access NI or Disclosure Scotland. We are an equal opportunities employer. Priory Group will cover the cost of a DBS check. Closing Date 31/07/2021

Example 3

Detailed job description and main responsibilities To read more information about the advertised role, and the main job duties/responsibilities please open the Job Description and Person Specification located under the supporting documents heading. You can also read more information about University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay visiting our website [website] Person specification education and qualifications Essential criteria 2 Desirable criteria 2 experience Essential criteria 2 Desirable criteria 2 skills, ability and knowledge Essential criteria 2 Desirable criteria 1 personal qualities Essential criteria 2 The Behavioural Standards Framework Everybody’s responsibility in everything we do ** Please Note: all interviews will be undertaken virtually via Microsoft Team Meetings this is to ensure we all stay safe and are COVID secure Visit our Inclusion and Diversity page : [website] Stay up to date with the latest news: Main Trust website -: [website] Trust recruitment website -: [website] Like us on Facebook –: Follow us on Twitter -: @UHMBT Please NOTE THAT Shortlisted Applicants WILL BE Contacted BY EMAIL. The Trust promotes flexible working opportunities where ever possible to enable staff to balance their work and home life. We are committed to Equal Opportunities and aim to be Effortlessly Inclusive . The trust operates a No Smoking Policy. Only those applicants who demonstrate clearly how they meet our Person Specification will be shortlisted for Interview. We reserve the right to close a job advert early where sufficient applications have been received. The Trust does not offer interview expenses to shortlisted candidates unless indicated in the advert If the post is subject to Disclosure & Barring Service checking, (formally CRB) a charge of £40 for Enhanced and £23 for Standard clearance for will be made to the successful candidate(s). Anyone newly appointed to the trust under the Agenda For Change contract, will be subject to the completion of a satisfactory 6 month probationary period. This will give the new staff member an opportunity to become familiar with the role and working environment.

What does an Occupational Therapy Assistant do?

Occupational Therapy Assistants work alongside Occupational Therapists as they treat patients with limited mobility. An Occupational Therapy Assistant closely records the treatments for patients, often coordinating occupational therapy with other types of therapeutic activities within a hospital or rehabilitation centre. They may also work in a patient’s home, helping them with exercise programmes and using appropriate equipment.


Occupational Therapy Assistant skills and qualifications

A successful Occupational Therapy Assistant candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications such as excellent communication skills and medical knowledge to explain the benefits of specific exercises and treatments to their patients. Physical fitness and strength for supporting patients and emotional intelligence for providing a supportive environment. Other essential skills include:

  • Flexibility and openness to change
  • The ability to work well within a team
  • Active listening skills for counselling patients
  • Patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Sensitivity and understanding
  • The ability to interpret complex written and verbal instructions


Occupational Therapy Assistant experience requirements

The ideal candidates have a general knowledge of the principles, methods and equipment used in occupational therapy. Some employers advertise an entry-level position with little to no work experience required. In such cases, the applicants should still have some voluntary experience in a healthcare setting, or a caring role with elderly people or people with physical disabilities or learning difficulties. However, most employers prefer candidates with a few years of experience as an Occupational Therapy Assistant, Healthcare Assistant or other healthcare-related position.


Occupational Therapy Assistant education and training requirements

An Occupational Therapy Assistant typically needs to complete one of the following courses—a Level 2 Certificate in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care, a Level 2 Diploma in Health or Social Care or a Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care. Most of these courses include work placement as part of the course work, which is a good way for candidates to gain experience.

Employers can sometimes accept work experience instead of formal education. So, candidates who have started as a Healthcare Assistant which only requires a few GCSEs and received on-the-job training for the role of an Occupational Therapy Assistant can also apply.


Occupational Therapy Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for an Occupational Therapy Assistant in the UK is £20,097 per year. Salary is usually dependent on experience, location and company.


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Occupational Therapy Assistant job description FAQs


What is the difference between an Occupational Therapy Assistant and an Occupational Therapist?

An Occupational Therapy Assistant works under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist. Usually, the Occupational Therapy Assistant helps carry out the treatment plan created by the Occupational Therapist and other doctors attending the patient. An Occupational Therapy Assistant also watches patients more closely, reporting the patient’s progress and documenting any changes, to the Occupational Therapist. An Occupational Therapist requires more education than an Occupational Therapist Assistant. Many people work as an Occupational Therapy Assistant before becoming an Occupational Therapist.


How can you make your Occupational Therapy Assistant job description stand out?

You can highlight the salary, meals on duty, company pension scheme, annual leave allowance, flexible job share opportunities and any other competitive element that makes your company a more exciting and enticing place to work. It’s a good idea to mention characteristics that make the workplace unique and enjoyable, such as mindfulness training or occupational health support for the employees. Also, try to focus on opportunities for development and career progression within the organisation.


Do Occupational Therapy Assistants have different responsibilities in different industries?

An Occupational Therapy Assistant usually works with an Occupational Therapist in any sector. However, depending on the organisation, the type of patients may vary. For example, Occupational Therapy Assistants may assist elderly patients in helping them learn how to adapt to their increasingly limited mobility in a care home. In other instances, they may work with younger patients who need adjusting to a disability due to a recent injury or ailment. So, even though the responsibilities are similar, they may have to provide additional psychological support according to the age and condition of their patients.

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