OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY ASSISTANT A.A.S.
IS OTA RIGHT FOR YOU?
OTA is an exciting, good-paying field that is in high demand. However, did you know that:
- A successful OTA is an organized, creative problem-solver who is caring and empathetic.
- Effective collaboration and the ability to work as part of a team are necessary skills. An OTA may be expected to be a leader in some instances or to follow the instructions of a supervisor in others.
- Training to become an OTA is academically demanding and requires learning a large amount of detailed information and applying this knowledge to a variety of situations.
- In order to stay in the program, students must maintain a 2.5 GPA and earn at least a grade of C in all OTA and Biology classes.
- OTA courses and clinical practice require accurate writing and clear English verbal communication.
- Professional behavior is expected in all aspects of the program, including all written, verbal and nonverbal communications. Strong emphasis is placed on professional communication and responsible workplace behavior during fieldwork experiences.
- Fieldwork courses require travel and provision of your own reliable transportation. In some cases, special housing arrangements may be necessary.
- Level II fieldwork requires a commitment of at least 16 weeks of full-time, unpaid clinical affiliations. Level II fieldwork must be completed within 18 months of completing the academic coursework.
- The maximum time allowed to complete the program is four years from the start of enrollment in the first OTA professional course.
- In order to practice as an OTA, the national certification examination must be passed. The exam is given on-line and on-demand once you have graduated from the program.
- A felony conviction may affect a graduate’s ability to sit for the national certification exam or to be licensed to practice in New York State.
FUNCTIONAL SKILLS OF OTA STUDENTS
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Cayuga Community College provides the following list of expected functional skills to inform prospective students of the performance criteria required to complete the academic and fieldwork components of the OTA program. It is necessary that OTA students possess and maintain the following functional requirements, with or without reasonable accommodations.
In accordance with law and Cayuga Community College policy, no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of that disability, be excluded from participation in the program. Cayuga Community College will provide reasonable accommodations to a qualified individual with a disability on an individual basis taking into consideration the essential skills which must be performed to meet learning outcomes. It is the responsibility of the student to request the accommodations that are needed to perform the behaviors listed below. Contact the Office of Accessibility Resources and the OTA Program Director if you think you may need an accommodation for a disability.
OTA students must download the Functional Skills of OTA Students form and have their primary care provider sign the declaration at the bottom as part of the annual health certification requirement.
|Skill||Examples Found in OTA Curriculum or Fieldwork|
|Cognitive ability sufficient to: measure, calculate, reason, analyze data; problem-solve, think critically; apply knowledge and skill; multi-task and attend to cognitive and psychomotor tasks for extended periods of time; carry out simple or complex written or verbal directions.||
|Communication and interpersonal ability sufficient to:
communicate effectively with individuals of varied sociocultural and intellectual backgrounds; accurately and intelligibly exchange information in oral, written and electronic form; establish appropriate relationships with clients, families, and colleagues.
|Emotional stability sufficient to: remain calm in the presence of strong emotions and physical outbursts from clients; accept responsibility for own actions; focus attention on client needs despite interruptions and multiple demands.||
|Health care provider must review below & sign:|
|Physical/Gross Motor ability sufficient to:
transfer, support, and maneuver clients and objects; bend, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, reach and manipulate; move efficiently enough to meet the needs of clients in a timely fashion; maintain balance from any position; maneuver in small areas.
|Fine Motor ability sufficient to: safely and effectively manipulate objects, tools and equipment;
perform and demonstrate therapeutic procedures and interventions
|Sensory ability sufficient to: perceive, interpret, and use information via observation, viewing, listening, touching, and smelling.||
- Each OTA program applicant is responsible for assessing his or her own computer competency. Students must possess basic proficiency in computer use, including the ability to use databases and search engines to access information, word processing for writing, and email for attaching files as needed.
- Access to a reliable internet connection is required throughout the program.
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK
Health care agencies may require that OTA students, at their own expense, complete a criminal background check, drug testing and fingerprinting prior to the fieldwork placement. Inability to obtain satisfactory clearances may compromise a student’s ability to complete fieldwork at specific agencies and therefore satisfy program requirements.
Applicants should be aware that eligibility for licensure as an OTA in New York State by persons who have been convicted of a crime or have charges pending in any state or country will be determined through an investigation by the New York State Education Office of Professional Discipline.
History of a felony or misdemeanor may impact a graduate’s eligibility to sit for the NBCOT certification examination, which is required for professional licensure in New York State. If you have a criminal history, it is strongly recommended that you complete a character review before starting the OTA program. To access certification information go to www.NBCOT.org and click on the certification candidates tab. You may contact NBCOT at:
12 South Summit Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20877