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Occupational Therapist and Occupational Therapy Assistant Roles

This information is provided for reference purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice on OT/OTA practice in Colorado. Please refer to the Colorado OT Practice Act for specific requirements.

Occupational Therapist Roles

Occupational Therapy Assistant Roles

  • Performs and documents initial and ongoing assessments of patient's condition.

  • Establishes a plan of care which is appropriate to deficit areas identified and involves the patient/family according to their capabilities and desires. Educates the patient and family/caregiver about patient deficits.

  • Plans and/or assists with patient discharge from therapy services and treatment settings. Provides information regarding appropriate selection/use of adaptive equipment and support programs.

  • Supervises and delegates the care provided by certified occupational therapy assistants and therapy technicians according to established licensing laws, state regulations and practice standards.

  • Performs and documents patient treatment with supervision of registered occupational therapist.

  • Implement established plan of care under the supervision of an occupational therapist.

  • Collaborates and provide feedback to registered occupational therapist on patient progress.

  • Collaborates with occupational therapist on therapeutic goals for patient. 

  • Collaborates with registered occupational therapist in analyzing client factors, performance skills, performance patterns, and contexts and environments necessary for patients to engage in their everyday activities.

(AOTA, 2021)

Supervision

Supervision: OT/OTA Relationship. The OT/OTA relationship is a collaborative team that works together to determine goals and interventions to support patients in participating in daily meaningful occupations.he OT/OTA relationship is a collaborative team that works together to determine goals and interventions to support patients in participating in daily meaningful occupations.

"Supervision," is a process in which two or more people participate in a joint effort to promote, establish, maintain and/or evaluate a level of performance. The occupational therapist is responsible for the practice outcomes and documentation to accomplish the goals and objectives. 

Levels of Supervision

  • "Close supervision" requires daily, direct contact in person at the work site.
    • Specific examples of an OTA needing “close” supervision: A therapist who is new to a particular task, a new graduate or an experienced practitioner who has switched to a new specialty. 

  • "Routine supervision" requires the supervisor to have direct contact in person at least every two weeks at the work site or via telehealth with interim supervision occurring by other methods, such as telephone or written communication.

    • Specific examples of an OTA needing “routine” supervision: Once a new practitioner has increased his/her level of expertise and knowledge of the task at hand, he/she may be able to transition from “close” to “routine” supervision. 

  • "General supervision" requires the supervisor to have at least monthly direct contact in person with the supervisee at the work site or via telehealth with supervision available as needed by other methods.

    • Specific examples of an OTA needing “general” supervision: A skilled OTA that has worked in the area of practice for many years and has been observed in a treatment session by their OT supervisor. If the OT is confident with the OTA, and the OTA has demonstrated service competency, they can go forward with once per month check in meetings (AOTA State Affairs Group, 2021). 

  • Supervision of students in level II settings:

    • Please reference the following document from AOTA.


ABOUT OTAC

OTAC is the Occupational Therapy Association of Colorado. It is a non-profit organization that strives to increase the quality of care and level of professionalism to the practice of OT in Colorado.

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