Occupational Therapy in Practice, OTalk, Practice Development

#OTalk – 7th April 2015 – The Role of the Occupational Therapy Assistant.

Role of OTA

Date:  07/04/2015  Host: @OTontheTracks & @ForensicDetail

Blog Post  –  Transcript

Thanks to @ForensicDetail & @OTontheTracks for suggesting this weeks chat and offering to host the chat.

The chat will be at our usual time of 8pm UK click for different time zone conversions

The role of an occupational therapy assistant (OTA/TI/OTSW) is a varied one; impacted by the setting, client group and the individuals experience. COT states “Occupational therapy support workers (also known as occupational therapy assistants/rehabilitation assistants/technical instructors) assist registered occupational therapists in their day-to-day duties.”

OTAs undertake practical tasks to aid the OT in providing therapy to clients/patients but are not qualified in the theoretical knowledge (Alaszweski & Meltzer, 1979 cited in Creek 2007); Does this mean OTs need to oversee OTA as they do their role if they are to ensure the occupational therapy a client received is evidence based.

I (@OTontheTracks) worked as an OTA before starting my OT degree and have encountered OTA’s in various placement settings over my first year. Forensic Detail has recently had OTAs introduced to her team and is interested in how they are supported and their role developed.

We thought it would be interesting to host an #OTalk on the role of OTAs, as this would allow for a greater understanding of the varied role in different settings. To guide the discussion we have come up with some questions to consider:

1. What is the role of an occupational therapy assistant in your setting?

2. What are the pros and cons of standardising the job description of OTAs?

3. How are OTAs supported in their role in your settings?

4. Are OTAs used within your setting to support students on placement with you?

We are looking forward to the discussion on Tuesday. See you there between 8-9 pm.


Creek, Jennifer, and Anne Lawson-Porter, eds. Contemporary issues in occupational therapy: reasoning and reflection. John Wiley & Sons, 2007.

COT (2011) ‘Become an OT Support Worker.’ Accessed 27 January 2015. Available at: http://www.cot.co.uk/support-workers/become-ot-support-worker

Here are the resources to assist in using the chat for your CPD.

Post chat updates:

The Numbers

641,228 Impressions
335 Tweets
39 Participants

#OTalk Participants

Online transcript:  Healthcare Social Media Transcript

PDF transcript: #OTalk – Healthcare Social Media Transcript 7 Apr 15

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