Professional Standards

Professional Standards reflect basic skill sets expected of an entry level Occupational Therapy Assistant. Students enter this program with an understanding that they will be expected to perform these skill prior to graduation. The specific skill sets are as follows:

I. Communication

  1. Need to write concisely and fluently for readability in English
  2. Must be able to read fluently in English
  3. Needs to speak in fluent English to report patient information and oral presentations
  4. Needs to communicate clearly with patient, family and others in English
  5. Needs to use medical terminology and abbreviations appropriately
  6. Needs to understand, follow and give directions in English
  7. Written reports must be legible
  8. Must be able to accurately hear information verbally communicated by the patient, family members and other health care staff

II. Physical Demands

  1. Needs to be able to transfer/lift a patient and/or verbally direct a 3rd person to transfer/lift a patient
  2. Needs to perform passive range of motion on a patient
  3. Needs to be functionally mobile to address the clinical space and equipment and/or patient rooms

III. Clinical Performance

  1. Must be able to visually observe patient performance
  2. Must be able to observe patient performance to progress patient in treatment regime
  3. Need to be able to construct and/or modify a splint
  4. Need to interpret patient performance
  5. Need to perform adaptations
  6. Need to perform gradation
  7. Need to implement the activity analysis
  8. Must be able to work with groups of patients at one time
  9. Needs to be able to observe patient's physical, physiological and psychological response to treatment and make adequate changes as necessary
  10. Must be able to read and accurately understand the occupational therapy evaluation
  11. Must be able to instruct and assist a patient in the performances areas of occupation
  12. Must be able to feel muscle movement, pulse, change in temperature and assess other health needs via the tactile sense
  13. Must be proficient in taking patient's vital signs

IV. Interpersonal Skills/professional behaviors

  1. Must be able to work with patients across the lifespan
  2. Must be able to establish rapport with the patient, family and others
  3. Use therapeutic self to engage patient in therapy process
  4. Must acknowledge and be sensitive of the multi-cultural issues in health care
  5. Needs to accept and understand supervision/direction
  6. Needs to work as member of the health care team and be aware of the chain of command
  7. Must be able to get self to the health care sites on time on a regular basis
  8. Must be able to work with a culturally diverse group of patients and health care professions
  9. Must be willing to contribute and participate in the education of other occupational therapy practitioners
  10. Observe, interpret, and respond appropriately to verbal and non-verbal communication from patient
  11. Uphold the AOTA's Code of Ethics at all times

V. Safety

  1. Needs to adhere to the written/oral safety precautions
  2. Able to follow routine precautions at the health care facility
  3. Must be able to respond independently to an emergency situation
  4. Needs to be aware of potential safety issues with a variety of materials