Healthcare

Occupational Therapy And Physiotherapy Assistant

Make a difference in the lives of others and join the growing healthcare industry with a program that includes an 18 week field placement.

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Type

Diploma

Duration

77 Weeks

Internship

Available

Program Outline

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About The Program

Graduates of this program 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. This program in our Halifax campus has received probationary accreditation from the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program* (OTA & PTA EAP) and provides the opportunity for students to pursue an 18-week field placement for hands-on experience.

Career Opportunities

As a graduate of the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant program, you will qualify for positions in Physiotherapy Clinics, Rehabilitation Centres and Sports Medicine Clinics.

Employers Who Have Hired Eastern Grads

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

Salary

98 %

Employment Rate*

$ 22

Average Wage/hr**

$ 27

High Wage/hr**

*Employment Rate based on 2018 contactable Eastern graduates employed in a related field.

Source: workingincanada.gc.ca

NOC Code: 3237, 3414 - **Wage data is for employees in all ranges of experience in the field, rounded down to the nearest dollar, and based on Nova Scotia data. Local (or regional) income may vary.

Program Details

Do you want to make a difference in the lives of others and contribute to their rehabilitation and well-being? Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistants play a critical role in assisting occupational therapists and physiotherapists with treatment plans for aging populations and those recovering from surgery or chronic conditions.

This program is designed to provide you with the knowledge, practical skills and professionalism required to assist physiotherapists and occupational therapists in the safe, effective and efficient delivery of evidence-informed rehabilitation services. 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.

The Eastern College OTPA program strives to create a stimulating, respectful, participatory learning environment that allows each student to use his or her unique skills and attributes to develop into a competent, caring and responsible healthcare professional. Eastern College faculty and staff are committed to providing students with an educational experience that promotes the core values of compassion and responsibility, that emphasizes professional skills and attitudes and that equips students with the skills needed to become lifelong learners.

The Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant program at Eastern College – Halifax Campus has received probationary accreditation from the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program* (OTA & PTA EAP).

Students enrolled in the program will receive: 

  • CPR/First Aid training; 
  • Opportunity to work under the supervision of occupational therapists or physiotherapists.
  • Training and knowledge in the efficient delivery of evidence-informed rehabilitation services
  • Students enrolled in the program will also develop strong Microsoft Office, and other office support skills.

*The Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program (OTA & PTA EAP) is responsible for accrediting OTA/PTA education programs. The Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant Program at Eastern College – Halifax Campus, following the recent Accreditation Review, has received notice from the OTA & PTA EAP that the program has been awarded Accreditation Status, Probationary. Probationary status is awarded when deficiencies are identified with respect to compliance with some of the accreditation standards and criteria.

The Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant Program at Eastern College – Halifax Campus will be working towards fixing these identified deficiencies, with the goal to be awarded Partial or Full Accreditation status. In the unlikely event that program is moved to non-accreditation status in the future, students in their graduating year who successfully complete the program within the original time frame scheduled for their graduation, will be considered as graduates of an accredited program. All other students enrolled in the program will not be considered graduates of an accredited program if the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant Program at Eastern College – Halifax Campus is moved to non-accreditation status before their graduation.

Details regarding accreditation decisions, including Accreditation Status, Probationary can be found on the OTA & PTA EAP website (otapta.ca). Any questions can be directed to Marcia-Lisa Dennis at the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant Program at Eastern College – Halifax Campus.

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

Course Listings: New Brunswick
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Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Icon-Quiz-Small Created with Sketch. 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.
Course Listings: Nova Scotia
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Admission Requirements
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NEW BRUNSWICK 

  • High school graduation or equivalent. For those without high school completion, please refer to the Program Overview at the top of this page or speak to your Education Consultant.
  • Demonstrate fluency in English (oral and written).
  • Clear Code of Conduct.

NOVA SCOTIA

  • High school graduation or equivalent. For those without high school completion, please refer to the Program Overview at the top of this page or speak to your Education Consultant.
  • Grade 12 level English and a science course (Biology, Chemistry or Physics)
  • Current Criminal Record Check (Clear Conduct Certificate)
  • Vulnerable Sector Search
  • Completion of Eastern College’s OTPA Health and Fitness Waiver Form
  • Exposure to the PT and OT field through one of the following:

 – Written or recorded interviews with both an OT and a PT

 – An essay outlining an understanding of both professions and reasons for choosing the OTA/PTA career. 

FIELD PLACEMENT REQUIREMENTS 

Students will be required to complete the two-step Tuberculin Skin Test prior to the start of the program. On enrollment, the College will provide students with a detailed immunization form (based on Nova Scotia Health Authority standards) which must be completed prior to the stipulated start date of the fieldwork placement.

These immunizations are for the protection of the student as well as the clients they will be serving. Failure to obtain the required immunizations and submit the immunization form by the stipulated date may affect the student’s ability to find a fieldwork placement, which in turn will impact the student’s ability to complete program requirements for successful graduation.

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Success Stories

“Great atmosphere! Amazing staff who bend over backwards to ensure you have the best college experience. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming. I was so impressed by how passionate the director is about what she does. I have nothing but good things to say about this place. I was so nervous about going to college after being out of school for almost 25 years but they made me feel like I fit right in with everyone else.”

P.J.

2019