Science and Mathemathics Division
Reading Area Community College offers an Occupational Therapy Assistant Program in cooperation with Lehigh Carbon Community College. Students complete the general education requirements at Reading Area Community College and then complete the Physical Therapist Assistant clinical program at Lehigh Carbon Community College. After satisfactory completion of all program requirements, the student earns an Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant from Lehigh Carbon Community College.
Graduates of this program are prepared for entry level employment as occupational therapy assistants, and are eligible to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, P.O. Box 31220, Bethesda, MD 20824-1220. Phone: (301) 652-AOTA. The COTA functions under the direct or general supervision of an Occupational Therapist (OTR), in evaluating, planning and implementing programs to retrain or to develop the patient's performance in self-care, work and leisure skills. COTAs treat patients in mental health facilities, rehabilitation hospitals, school systems, hand clinics, nursing homes, and home health settings. AOTA requires that all OTA students complete their Level II Fieldwork within 18 months following completion of the academic preparation.
Upon successful completion of this program, the student should be able to:
- Provide all clients with safe care in a variety of health care settings.
- Provide the services expected of an entry-level occupational therapy assistant.
- Assist in management of delivery of occupational therapy as a member of the health care team in a variety of settings.
- Utilize the COTA/OTR supervision process and professional and educational resources to improve and increase knowledge and professional techniques to function effectively as a certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.
- Demonstrate a professional manner, abide by the policies and procedures of the facility and practice the ethics of the occupational therapy profession.
- Address the health needs of individuals, communities and society as a whole by assisting in community wellness and prevention programs.
- Utilize effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills to participate in the profession and society.
- Develop self-confidence and accountability to assume professional behaviors.
- Recognize education is a lifelong commitment to continued personal and professional development.
- Practice within the ethical parameters of the occupational therapy profession.
- Take an active role in student and professional organizations.
- Recognize individual differences and develop positive attitudes from this awareness.
- Demonstrate a holistic awareness of each individual and understand individual differences in adaptive responses.
- Adopt individualized learning when caring for individuals with diverse cultural, socioeconomical and environmental needs.
- Collaborate with client/patient and other health care providers to enhance occupational therapy service delivery.