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OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY AND PHYSIOTHERAPY ASSISTANT

PROGRAM DETAILS

TYPE:Diploma
TIME:Morning or Afternoon
DURATION:77 Weeks
FIELD PLACEMENT:Available
CAMPUSES:Specific ( INQUIRE )
NOC Code:3237, 3414
PROGRAM OUTLINEOccupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant Program Outline - NBOccupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant Program Outline - NS

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Would you like to be responsible for the daily rehabilitation of others? Occupational Therapy & Physical Therapy Assistant graduates from Eastern College will play a critical role in assisting occupational therapists and physiotherapists with treatment plans for aging populations and those recovering from surgery or chronic conditions.

In the workplace, you’ll be responsible for aiding clients in their treatment plan, monitoring their progress, and discussing each individual’s development with the therapist to help patients better their way of life. Graduates will meet the standards of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and the Canadian Physiotherapy Association through a combination of theoretical study and hands-on workplace practicums.

The Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant Program at Eastern College - Halifax Campus has been accredited by the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program (OTA & PTA EAP) in collaboration with Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC) and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). The status of Accreditation was granted to the program on April 30, 2014 for the period until April 30, 2020.

Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program, c/o Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada, Suite 26, 509 Commissioners Road West, London, Ontario, N6J 1Y5, (226) 636-0632, www.otapta.ca

We pledge:
To offer a program of study that prepares the student for ethical practice and rigorous employment standards to meet workforce demand in the field of Occupational or Physiotherapy according to the National Guidelines of practice set forth by the CPA and CAOT.
To develop partnerships with agencies, businesses and associations in the healthcare industry to facilitate clinical training, life-long learning and social responsibility of faculty and students.

To participate in ongoing assessment of program outcomes, faculty effectiveness, student satisfaction and industry feedback to initiate improvement and strive for our goal of excellence in Occupational Therapy education.
To provide our students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become gainfully employed as OTA/PTAs who effectively function under the supervision of a licensed therapist, and who are responsible, productive members of the health care community and society at large.
To instill value for life-long learning and contemporary practice to maintain expertise within the OT and PT professions.
To provide a positive, non-discriminatory and supportive learning environment.
To support the faculty’s commitment to being effective, ethical and caring educators and to further develop their expertise.

STUDENTS RECEIVE

  • 18-week field placement
  • Work under the supervision of Occupational Therapists or Physiotherapists
  • CPR/First Aid Training

INCLUDED COURSES

SELECT PROVINCE : NBNS


Advanced Interpersonal and Communication Skills

This course is designed to give students the opportunity to practice the interpersonal and communication skills required to work effectively in a health care team. Through an experiential learning approach, students practice the following skills: leading teamwork, establishing team norms, setting team goals, resolving conflicts, building group cohesion, problem solving, and evaluating team performance. Engagement in and facilitation of effective verbal and nonverbal communication is explored.

Communication Disorders

This course provides students with an overview of major speech and language problems that can impair the rehabilitation client's ability to communicate effectively. Students learn strategies to improve interactions with clients with communication disorders, and are introduced to common assistive communication devices. The course also provides students with a basic understanding of swallowing and swallowing disorders.

Career Planning & Preparation - Level I

This module introduces tools for planning and preparing for a successful job search, so that students can maintain a career-focused approach throughout their education program. Students will learn about the "Hidden" Job Market and ways to access it in their upcoming job search, how to research opportunities and network for industry contacts, and use appropriate etiquette when communicating with prospective employers. Students will identify their personal skills, values and preferences for the workplace, begin preparation of a professional resume and references, and organize proof documents for their career portfolio. Class discussions on various self-management topics introduced in Student Success Strategies will round out this module, which is a pre-requisite for Career Planning and Preparation - Part II.

Career Planning & Preparation - Level II

This module continues to build on the concepts and skills introduced in Career Planning and Preparation - Part I. Students will learn how to conduct an effective job search and identify various methods of applying for work with today's technology. Students will create a personal list of "Top Employers" and target current industry opportunities, while finalizing their professional resume, portfolio and career correspondence. Students will learn to identify the different types and forms of interviews, practice responding to typical questions, and practice follow-up, evaluation and negotiation techniques they can use to ensure success. Self-management topics from Career Planning and Preparation - Part I will be reviewed, with a focus towards on-the-job success in both learner placements and post-graduate employment.

St. John Ambulance Enhanced First Aid with Level C CPR

This module introduces participants to intermediate first aid techniques and to Level C cardiopulmonary resuscitation. This training is ideal for medical workers and anyone requiring a strong foundation for future First Aid training.

Current Social Issues for Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant

Issues such as population growth, forms of the family, organized religion, censorship and the status of women are treated from a sociological perspective. Emphasis will be placed on enhancing students’ critical thinking and writing skills.

Data Collection for Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Assistants

This course introduces students to data collection in physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Students will learn to safely and effectively apply a range of tests and outcome measures and will learn to accurately interpret, record and report results.

Developmental Psychology and Functional Development across the Lifespan

This subject introduces students to human development from birth to old age, including cognitive, social, emotional and motor development. The purpose of this course is to help students become familiar with the “normal” changes that occur across the lifespan, so they will be able to distinguish between normal developmental changes and those that are pathological in nature. In addition, this course will help students develop a more holistic view of the clients they will be working with, as well as gain insight into the developmental changes in their own lives.

Expository Writing

Expository writing and speech surround us in our everyday lives. At work, people are required to produce reports and memorandums to inform their superiors and co-workers. This course will help build the oral and written expository skills needed for workplace success. Activities include reading assignments, class discussions, lectures on essay-writing technique, writing assignments and group work.

Field Placement - Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant

In this combined program of study, efforts will be made to evenly divide Field Placements between the two disciplines. The Placements will be scheduled to insure each student obtains a minimum of 30% experience in occupational therapy and physiotherapy. Students are expected to attend each placement a minimum of 35 hours per week.

Introduction to Occupational Therapy

This course introduces the student to the field of occupational therapy, with a focus on the role of the OT and OTA within clinical practice. Client-centred principles are explained and the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance and Engagement is applied to daily activities. The code of ethics and standards that guide occupational therapy practice in Ontario are also examined. An overview of assessment and intervention as it applies to occupational therapy for cognitive and physical dysfunction is presented.

Introduction to Rehabilitation and Interpersonal Skills

This course introduces the student to the field of physiotherapy within the Canadian and Ontario healthcare systems. The course examines the role of the PT and the PTA within the healthcare team, discusses ethical and legal issues in physiotherapy, and examines the principles of cultural competence. The course also introduces students to effective verbal, nonverbal and written communication strategies. Several topics discussed in this course apply to OTA practice such as ethics, communication skills, cultural competence and professionalism.

Mental Health Illness and Disability

This course provides an overview of physiotherapy practice in mental health. Students will become familiar with major mental health disorders and the role of physiotherapy in the management of these illnesses. Through role play activities, students will practice strategies to interact effectively and sensitively with clients with mental health concerns, including responding appropriately to mental health emergencies. In addition, through group presentations, students will discuss the appropriate use of relaxation exercises in physiotherapy and practice administering these techniques.

OTA Therapeutic Techniques for Children

This course prepares students to enable engagement in meaningful activities of daily living with children and adolescents. Topics covered include typical and atypical development, developmental theories, diagnoses related to pediatrics, assessment tools, and interventions for children and adolescents regarding self-care, productivity and leisure. The concept of family-centred care is applied to the occupational therapy process. The role of the OTA in understanding and contributing to the occupational therapy plan, and in supporting the OT in service delivery is explored.

Group Intervention in Occupational Therapy

This course prepares students to assist in the design and delivery of group treatment programs in occupational therapy. Through interactive labs, students apply the principles of group intervention directly to their own experience, learn how to lead an occupational therapy group, and realize the potential benefits and challenges of group intervention. The stages of group development as well as various frames of reference related to group intervention are examined. Students also have the opportunity to write a group protocol for a client population of their choosing.

OTA Therapeutic Techniques in Mental Health

In this course, students build on previous coursework by focusing on therapeutic use of self, activity and environment, as it applies to working with clients with psychiatric disorders. Topics covered include diagnoses and medication related to mental illness, and interventions with clients regarding performance of daily activities, education, work, leisure, and social participation. Students develop the skills needed to perform activity analysis, and to describe and respond to mental health symptoms.

OTA Therapeutic Techniques for Older Adults

This course prepares students to enable engagement in occupation with older adults. Topics covered include health promotion, age related disease processes, cultural diversity, splinting, seating systems, wheelchair mobility, and working with caregivers. Students develop skills to address physical and cognitive challenges that impact daily function in older adults. The role of the OTA in safely and efficiently implementing assigned service components within the occupational therapy process is examined. Students also apply evidence-informed research to occupational therapy intervention.

Basic Patient Care, Functional Movement and Rehabilitation

This course provides students with the basic knowledge and skills required to safely, effectively and efficiently implement interventions assigned by the physiotherapist or occupational therapist. The course begins with a review of the role of the PTA/OTA, an overview of basic medical terminology, and an introduction to reflective practice. This is followed by training in infection control, goniometry, and manual muscle testing. The rest of the course focuses on fundamental client care techniques including: posture and body mechanics, positioning and draping, basic bed mobility skills and transfer techniques, safe and effective use of gait aids, and therapeutic exercise.

Personal Fitness

This course will prepare students to develop personal fitness programs for low risk clients. Students will learn how to determine exercise risk and gather information on current fitness level. They will use this information to incorporate cardiovascular exercise, resistance training, and stretching into a safe and effective exercise program.

Professional Skills for Health Care

This module is designed to equip students with the skills necessary for success in today’s health care environment. Topics covered include: which jobs require professionalism, definitions and key elements of professionalism, why professionalism is important to all involved in the health care environment, the importance of interprofessional collaboration in a health care setting, making a commitment to the job, how to contribute to the specialized workplace, working with others and ensuring success in the field placement and career.

Human Anatomy, Physiology, Diseases/Disorders

This course is designed to introduce the student to the structures and functions of the human body, with emphasis on the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, as they pertain to human movement, functional kinesiology, and rehabilitation. Disorders of the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory systems encountered in physiotherapy and occupational therapy are discussed. The course also provides an overview of the other systems of the body. Correct anatomical, medical and scientific terminology are taught throughout the course.

PTA/OTA Administration and Program Support

The main purposes of this course are to prepare students to a) manage administrative activities that support effective service delivery, b) support the supervising therapist in applying an evidence-informed approach in their services, and c) engage in self-directed life long learning through the development of a specific learning plan. Students will practice administrative tasks such as scheduling and billing clients, documenting workload statistics, facilitating the use of equipment, supplies and inventory records, and searching for evidence regarding a clinical question. They will also have the opportunity to reflect on their own learning needs and develop a specific learning plan. In addition, in the context of effective client reception and scheduling, students will practice using a variety of strategies to prevent and resolve conflict.

PTA/OTA Integration and Advanced Practice

In this course, students will consolidate the knowledge and skills they have developed throughout the program. Students will apply their problem solving, communication, inter-professional and practical skills in case studies, role plays and simulations. The course will provide students with the opportunity to enhance their existing clinical skills. In addition, advanced practical skills will be introduced.

Software Lab - Computer Fundamentals

Through a combination of theory and hands-on-practice, this module examines the role and use of the computer in today’s workplace. Emphasis is placed on those computers outfitted with the Microsoft Windows operating system. Students will review basic computer concepts, Windows OS usage, and complete hands-on training exercises in business-standard software applications, including Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Word. Keyboarding skills are also honed via daily keyboarding exercises and drills

Student Success Strategies

In this orientation module, emphasis is placed on thinking about achieving success from Day One. This module stresses the importance of developing non-technical skills to enhance personal, academic, and career success. This includes understanding learning styles and honing practical study skills, such as memory, reading, note-and test-taking techniques. Personal exercises will focus on teamwork, decision making and problem solving skills, setting SMART goals and maintaining a positive attitude; techniques for managing change, stress and conflict will also be explored.

PTA Therapeutic Techniques 3 - Cardiac, Neurological, Respiratory and Specialty Areas

This course prepares students to safely, effectively and efficiently implement interventions assigned by the physiotherapist to improve the mobility, health and well-being of clients with neurological, cardiac or respiratory conditions. The course emphasizes work with adults, but also addresses common pediatric conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida and cystic fibrosis. In addition, the course provides students with the basic knowledge and skills needed to work in specialty areas such as burns and vestibular rehabilitation.

PTA Therapeutic Techniques 2 - Modalities & Physical Agents

This course prepares students to safely, effectively and efficiently apply modalities and physical agents. Students learn to ensure client safety by screening for contraindications and precautions and by participating in the maintenance and care of equipment. In addition, through daily lab work and a case study assignment, students integrate and apply the knowledge and skills developed in previous coursework, such as those related to communication skills and interprofessional collaboration.

PTA Therapeutic Techniques 1 - Musculoskeletal

This course prepares students to safely, effectively and efficiently implement interventions assigned by the physiotherapist to treat common musculoskeletal disorders. Students build on previous coursework to develop a deeper understanding of musculoskeletal pathologies and the use of therapeutic exercise and other interventions to support clients’ function and mobility. In addition, through daily lab work and a challenging case study assignment, students integrate and apply the knowledge and skills developed in previous coursework such as those related to communication skills, teamwork, client-centered care and evidence-informed practice.


Anatomy and Physiology for Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant

Students will be introduced to the major aspects of the structure and function of the human body, with emphasis placed on the components that form the basis of the field of exercise physiology. Students will learn anatomical terminology and the structure and function of the skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, and nervous and digestive systems.

Anatomy & Physiology - Comprehensive Review

In this brief module students will review the major structures and functions of the human body with emphasis on the musculo-skeletal, neurological and cardio-respiratory systems. Students will be actively involved as instructors of this material, utilizing skills obtained in other core modules.

Introduction to Biomechanics and Applied Kinesiology for Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant

Students will obtain a basic understanding of human movement and biomechanics, including the physical laws affecting motion, human motion terminology and the human gait, issues of balance and alignment, posture and muscle imbalance, muscles and movements of the pelvis and lower extremities, upper body muscles, muscles acting at the hip and at the knee/ankle. The concepts of applied kinesiology are also discussed.

Career Planning & Preparation - Level I

This module introduces tools for planning and preparing for a successful job search, so that students can maintain a career-focused approach throughout their education program. Students will learn about the "Hidden" Job Market and ways to access it in their upcoming job search, how to research opportunities and network for industry contacts, and use appropriate etiquette when communicating with prospective employers. Students will identify their personal skills, values and preferences for the workplace, begin preparation of a professional resume and references, and organize proof documents for their career portfolio. Class discussions on various self-management topics introduced in Student Success Strategies will round out this module, which is a pre-requisite for Career Planning and Preparation - Part II.

Career Planning & Preparation - Level II

This module continues to build on the concepts and skills introduced in Career Planning and Preparation - Part I. Students will learn how to conduct an effective job search and identify various methods of applying for work with today's technology. Students will create a personal list of "Top Employers" and target current industry opportunities, while finalizing their professional resume, portfolio and career correspondence. Students will learn to identify the different types and forms of interviews, practice responding to typical questions, and practice follow-up, evaluation and negotiation techniques they can use to ensure success. Self-management topics from Career Planning and Preparation - Part I will be reviewed, with a focus towards on-the-job success in both learner placements and post-graduate employment.

St. John Ambulance Standard First Aid/CPR Level C/WHMIS

This course trains participants in a variety of industry required certifications.

Current Social Issues for Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant

Issues such as population growth, forms of the family, organized religion, censorship and the status of women are treated from a sociological perspective. Emphasis will be placed on enhancing students’ critical thinking and writing skills.

Human Disorders & (Dis)Abilities

This course introduces the student to a number of mental, physical, and developmental disorders frequently experienced by clients served by rehabilitation personnel. Topics include essential terms, etiology, signs and symptoms, medical/rehabilitation goals and interventions, as well as primary and long-term effects of the disorder/disability. Also discussed is how the interaction between the client, occupation and the environment can retain or alter the client’s capacity to participate in society.

Expository Writing

Expository writing and speech surround us in our everyday lives. At work, people are required to produce reports and memorandums to inform their superiors and co-workers. This course will help build the oral and written expository skills needed for workplace success. Activities include reading assignments, class discussions, lectures on essay-writing technique, writing assignments and group work.

Field Placement - Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant

In this combined program of study, efforts will be made to evenly divide Field Placements between the two disciplines. The Placements will be scheduled to insure each student obtains a minimum of 30% experience in occupational therapy and physiotherapy. Students are expected to attend each placement a minimum of 35 hours per week.

Human Development and Growth and Development

Human Development will examine relevant aspects of development across the life span with a view to identifying those factors in human development which affect and have an impact on our understanding of the entire human being and their motivations. This module also provides a study of the sequential changes in physical growth and motor development with emphasis on individual differences. Learning about growth and development provides a framework for understanding normal “landscape” that can guide interaction with clients in clinical situations.

Introduction to Healthcare & Rehabilitation

This course examines health care in Canada from its roots through to modern day, including the development of universal health care. The rehabilitation fields are discussed in detail with emphasis on the rehabilitation philosophy and the different roles of the occupational and physical professions. Students will develop an understanding of and begin to build the skills required in the role of a Therapist Assistant. Integral to this course is an introduction to institutional policies and procedures, universal precautions and documentation.

Mental Health & Psychology - Comprehensive Review

This module allows students the opportunity to refresh their knowledge of common mental health disorders and their impact on the individual and society. As with the Anatomy/Physiology Comprehensive Review, the students will develop their preparation, organizational and presentation skills as they step into the role of the instructor.

OTA Therapeutic Processes I

This combined lecture/lab module introduces the student to advanced therapeutic knowledge, skills, and attitudes associated with working as an occupational therapist assistant. Students gain an understanding of the relationship among sensory motor, cognitive, and psycho-social skill deficits and the performance of self-care and productivity (home management and vocational) activities. Therapeutic activities used to assist people with these deficits are learned and practiced.

OTA Therapeutic Processes II

In this combined lecture/lab module, students are introduced to the techniques involved in the use of high and low tech assistive devices, wheelchairs, computers, splinting procedures, joint protection, energy conservation and work simplification procedures as well as the techniques, equipment and supplies needed to use play and leisure activities in the occupational therapy treatment process. The module also details how these devices and techniques are implemented with clients served in occupational therapy.

Professional Skills for Health Care

This module is designed to equip students with the skills necessary for success in today’s health care environment. Topics covered include: which jobs require professionalism, definitions and key elements of professionalism, why professionalism is important to all involved in the health care environment, the importance of interprofessional collaboration in a health care setting, making a commitment to the job, how to contribute to the specialized workplace, working with others and ensuring success in the field placement and career.

Introduction to Psychology & Mental Health

This course is designed to introduce the student to the scientific study of behaviours, mental processes and mental health. It will provide students an understanding of different types of psychology, different applications of psychology, and the role psychology plays in understanding the interplay between psychological conditions and human behaviour. Topics include sensation and perception, learning and memory, neurological aspects, intelligence, moral development, mental processes, language development and psychological disorders and therapies.

Physiotherapy Assistant Therapeutic Processes I

This combined lecture/lab module introduces the use of therapeutic exercise in physiotherapy. Students will gain an understanding of the purposes, benefits, and safe and correct implementation of therapeutic exercise. Different environments utilized for activities are addressed. This course will assist PTA students to gain knowledge of and practice in performing fundamental interventions used by therapist assistants working with clients in rehabilitation settings. Topics include bed mobility, lifting, transferring, use of ambulation devices and wheelchairs, range of motion and an introduction to a variety of modalities in client treatment.

Physiotherapy Assistant Therapeutic Processes II

This combined lecture/lab module is delivered in two sections. Section A provides an overview of the knowledge and skills that physiotherapist assistants need to work with clients who have pulmonary problems. Topics include the fundamentals of assisting in postural drainage, deep breathing and coughing, and other interventions. Section B offers an introduction to electrotherapy modalities used in physiotherapy. Topics include a general introduction to the principles of electrotherapy and the identification and participation in the safe operation of these modalities as used by physiotherapist assistants.

Rehabilitation Processes

This module continues the introduction to client care practices and processes in rehabilitation. Topics addressed include means of monitoring client health, ethical concerns in rehabilitation, awareness of the effects of disability and helping relationships. Further, students will gain knowledge and practice in fundamental interventions such as body mechanics, positioning, client instruction, managing challenging behaviors and group work. In addition, the role of group work in rehabilitation, including common purposes for groups and planning and implementing group work is discussed and practiced. Administrative and data measurement activities required of the assistant will also be covered.

Software Lab - Computer Fundamentals

Through a combination of theory and hands-on-practice, this module examines the role and use of the computer in today’s workplace. Emphasis is placed on those computers outfitted with the Microsoft Windows operating system. Students will review basic computer concepts, Windows OS usage, and complete hands-on training exercises in business-standard software applications, including Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Word. Keyboarding skills are also honed via daily keyboarding exercises and drills

Student Success Strategies

In this orientation module, emphasis is placed on thinking about achieving success from Day One. This module stresses the importance of developing non-technical skills to enhance personal, academic, and career success. This includes understanding learning styles and honing practical study skills, such as memory, reading, note-and test-taking techniques. Personal exercises will focus on teamwork, decision making and problem solving skills, setting SMART goals and maintaining a positive attitude; techniques for managing change, stress and conflict will also be explored.

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CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

The Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant Diploma program will qualify grads to pursue positions in Physiotherapy Clinics, Rehabilitation Centres and Sports Medicine Clinics.

EMPLOYERS WHO HAVE RECENTLY HIRED EASTERN GRADS

  • Yarmouth Regional Hospital
  • Saint John Regional Hospital
  • Accel Physical Therapy
  • Oakwood Terrace
  • Ocean View Continuing Care Centre
  • Goodlife Fitness

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS (New Brunswick ONLY)

• Grade 12 or equivalent or mature student status
• Demonstrate fluency in English (oral and written)
• Clear Code of Conduct

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS (Nova Scotia ONLY)

• Grade 12 or equivalent with a Grade 12 level Science course(Biology, Chemistry or Physics)
• Current Criminal Record Check (Clear Conduct Certificate)
• Vulnerable Sector Search
• Complete a standardized health form, program of immunization (and chest x-rayas required)
• Exposure to the PT and OT field through one of the following:
• Documented volunteer work
• Documented job shadowing
• Written or recorded interviews with both an OT and a PT
• A research paper outlining an understanding of both professions and reasons for choosing the OTA/PTA career
• Documented personal experience as a client with an OT and PT
• Documentation of attending sessions with an immediate family member undergoing OT and PT treatment
• Ability to participate in lab activities scheduled outside of normal class hours

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