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Occupational Therapy Assistant

Course Descriptions

OTA 100 - Fundamentals of Occupational Therapy - The philosophical base and history of occupational therapy is examined. Through an historical approach, frames of reference within the profession are reviewed with emphasis on occupation as a health determinant, the meaning of occupation and purposeful activity, and professionalism. A broad range of practice areas are investigated. Ethics of the profession are examined and applied to practice situations. Legislation and legal issues affecting the profession are reviewed.

OTA 101 - Fundamentals of Activity/Therapeutic Media - Through experimental learning, students will explore and develop skills in performing processes required in minor crafts, gross motor activities, games and simple work tasks. Emphasis is on activity analysis and adaptation from the perspective of work and play/leisure tasks throughout the life span. Safety in the use of therapeutic activities is emphasized. A file will be created for each therapeutic media studied. Students will learn to teach techniques in applying therapeutic media to a group.

OTA 102 - Rehab Terminology/Disease & Diagnosis - A comprehensive course that is designed to offer students proficiency in the use of terminology utilized in a variety of rehabilitation settings.  Basic medical terminology will be incorporated including prefixes, roots and suffixes.  This course will include an in-depth study of common diseases and diagnoses found in rehabilitation.  Occupational therapy databases, sites and resources will be explored via the internet.

OTA 110 - Occupational Skills - Psychosocial - Individual and group interactions related to occupational therapy intervention are examined. Theories of practice that explain interpersonal behavior from an occupational therapy perspective and psychiatric conditions treated by the occupational therapy assistant are reviewed. The therapeutic use of self and collaboration with the registered occupational therapist and other health care professionals with an emphasis on team work is investigated. Interviewing, observation, communication, and group process skills with an emphasis on cultural differences are simulated and observed in clinic settings. Group roles and stages are examined. The differences between task groups and talk groups are analyzed. Group leadership is practiced.

OTA 111 - Experiential/Simulation I - Designed to acquaint the student with the day to day activities in the clinical setting when caring for individuals with psychosocial issues that interfere with occupations and roles.  This experience enables students to apply academic knowledge to practice and develop an understanding of the needs of clients, setting and staff.

OTA 120 - Documentation in Occupational Therapy - Record keeping for accountability and reimbursement is examined. Emphasis is placed on learning the structure and function of daily note writing. Patient/client evaluation techniques including data gathering, reassessment, treatment recommendations, and treatment termination are presented. Students learn to write behavioral objectives and assist the OTR with goal writing. Techniques of quality assurance are introduced. Insurance systems and various methods for documentation are explored. The ethics of documentation is examined. Medical terminology is emphasized.

OTA 130 - Dynamics of Human Movement - The organization of the human nervous system and the structure of the human body in relation to joints, trunk and extremities is examined and analyzed in terms of functional movement required for work, play and self-care activities. Occupational therapy theory in relation to physical dysfunction is reviewed along with the interrelationships between the central nervous system, peripheral nerves and the musculoskeletal system. Physical conditions that interfere with successful performance of occupational roles are examined. Gross manual muscle testing and goniometry are simulated and practiced. Principles of kinesiology and body mechanics are presented. Safety procedures in relation to functional mobility are reviewed. Principles of energy conservation, work simplification and joint protection are introduced.

OTA 140 - Occupational Skills Development in Pediatric Roles - Biological, psychosocial and environmental conditions that lead to dysfunction in the roles of the child from neonate to adolescence are examined. Adaptation and adjustment to limitations in occupational performance are explored. The role of the occupational therapy assistant in prevention and rehabilitation programs within medical and community settings such as hospitals, infant programs, schools, and private practice is defined. Evaluation and treatment techniques are examined including activities that facilitate age-appropriate balance of work, self-care and play/leisure behaviors. The underlying performance components necessary for successful occupational behaviors is presented. Emphasis is placed on collaboration with families, caregivers, teachers and significant others.

OTA 141 - Experiential/Simulation II - A laboratory experience that includes observing and identifying normal and abnormal developmental behaviors in the pediatric population.  This course builds on previous introduction practicum experience and is designed to reinforce and augment understanding of principles and techniques for observing, assessing, planning and implementing occupational therapy treatment sessions with pediatric clients.

OTA 200 - Occupational Skills in Physical Rehab - The normal occupational performance in development of adult and geriatric roles is explored. The physical, socioeconomic, environmental factors, lifestyle choices, and physical factors that influence adult and geriatric occupational performance in their roles.  Exploration of the recovery process, from acute care to rehabilitation for physical and psychosocial conditions, is reviewed. The role of the occupational therapy assistant in prevention and rehabilitation programs is defined. Involvement in assessment, intervention, and therapeutic activities that facilitate age appropriate occupational behaviors is practiced. The discharge process and collaboration with other professionals and community agencies is included as part of the treatment continuum.

OTA 210 - Assistive Technology in Occupational Therapy - The technology employed by the occupational therapy assistant is explored through laboratory practice and field site visits. This technology includes but is not limited to: environmental adaptations, orthotics, prosthetics, assistive devices, adaptive clothing and equipment. The use of computers in inventory systems, word processing, cognitive retraining, evaluation, and work simulation is defined and practiced.

OTA 220- Advanced Occupational Therapy Skills for Physical Dysfunction -This course focuses on treatment techniques and adaptations to assist individuals with physical dysfunction in various settings and the role of the occupational therapy assistant.   The course builds on the theory, foundation and skills learned in OTA 200 with laboratory activities that allow students to apply screening, assessment, analysis, intervention, implementation, documentation, discharge planning and outcome activities.

OTA 221 -Experiential/Simulation III -A laboratory course providing a continuation of clinical practicum with a focus on treatment planning, safety precautions, contraindications and documentation in OTA Program affiliated adult and geriatric rehabilitation settings.

OTA 230 - Occupational Therapy Management - This course presents an introduction to basic management issues including: clerical, organizational, fiscal and supervisory components. Topics relate to an occupational therapy department as well as activity programs. Legal guidelines related to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the employment process are explored. Quality assurance, research, and continuing education to support continued professional growth is emphasized. Techniques for developing a resume and participating in an interview are practiced.

OTA 240 - Clinical Practicum IV  - This experience involves full time hours for a ten week assignment of advanced clinical experience under the direct supervision of a registered occupational therapist or a certified occupational therapy assistant with the student assisting in all phases of practice.  Level I fieldwork (clinical practicum 1-3) hours will not count toward OTA 240.

OTA 241 - Clinical Practicum V - This experience involves a ten week assignment  for 40 hours per week of advanced clinical experience under the direct supervision of a registered occupational therapist or a certified occupational therapy assistant with the student assisting in all phases of practice.   This course must be successfully completed along with AS Degree for the student to be eligible to sit for the National Certification Exam.  Level I fieldwork (clinical practicum 1-3) hours will not count toward OTA 241.

Last Updated: 03/14/2018


Health Professions Specialist
Phone: 619-644-7304

  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District