Essential functions describe the tasks, skills, abilities, work activities, work context and work styles that are required for the completion of the OCAT Program and to work as a generalist occupational therapy assistant. The student is required to meet all objectives related to the coursework and fieldwork experiences. Physical, emotional, cognitive and environmental demands will vary throughout the curriculum and fieldwork experience. This list is a summary of the essential functions, but is not meant to be all-inclusive. More specific information can be found in the Dictionary of Occupational Title published by the United States Government or the O*Net website at http://online.onetcenter.org
Throughout the educational program and later throughout their careers, OTAs must be able to perform these essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations.
- Observe and record patients' progress, attitudes and behavior, and maintain this information in client records.
- Maintain and promote a positive attitude toward clients and their treatment programs.
- Monitor patient's performance in therapy activities, providing encouragement.
- Select therapy activities to fit patient's needs and capabilities
- Instruct or assist in instructing patients and families in home programs, basic living skills and the care and use of adaptive equipment.
- Evaluate the daily living skills and capabilities of physically, developmentally or emotionally disabled clients.
- Aid patient in dressing and grooming themselves.
- Implement or assist occupational therapists with implementing treatment plans designed to help clients function independently.
- Report to supervisors verbally or in writing on patient's progress, attitudes and behavior.
- Alter treatment programs to obtain results if treatment is not having the intended effect.
- Active listening - giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understands the points being made, asking questions as appropriate and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Time management - managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Instructing - teaching others how to do something.
- Speaking - talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Social perceptiveness - being aware of other's reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Critical thinking - using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses or alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Learning strategies - selecting and using training methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Reading comprehension - understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing- communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Monitoring - monitoring/assessing performance of yourself, other individuals or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Oral comprehension - the ability to listen and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Problem sensitivity - the ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognize there is a problem.
- Oral expression - the ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written comprehension - the ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive reasoning - the ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Assisting and caring for others - providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Communicating with supervisors, peers or subordinates - providing information to supervisors, coworkers and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail or in person.
- Making decisions and problem solving - analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solutions and solve problems.
- Establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships - developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others and maintaining them over time.
- Evaluating information to determine compliance with standards - using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations or standards.
- Organizing, planning and prioritizing work - developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize and accomplish your work.
- Cooperation - job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Dependability - job requires being reliable, responsible, dependable and fulfills obligations.
- Flexibility - job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Concern for others - job requires being sensitive to other's needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Stress tolerance - job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Attention to detail - job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Self control - job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Independence - job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision and depending on oneself to get things done.
Information taken from the O*Net website on Occupational Therapy Assistants
- General physical activities - the ability to perform activities such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, bending, and stooping frequently throughout the workday.
- Strength - the ability to lift up to 25 pounds frequently and up to 50 pounds occasionally throughout the workday; working at the medium physical demand level according to the U.S. Department of Labor (37.02).
- Manual dexterity - the ability to safely grasp and manipulate objects.
- Speed - the ability to respond without hesitation to compromised patients.
- Endurance - have the physical capacity to work a 40-hour week.