South University, West Palm Beach (View Other Campuses)

South University, Cleveland, Physical Therapist Assistant. Theory in every textbook. Practice in every classroom.

The South Way

Theory in every textbook. Practice in every classroom.

Welcome to South University

A school with a proud past and a promising future

Established in 1899, South University is a private, nonprofit institution with a long history of driving student success. 

Get Started Today

Request info# Request info# Chat Live
About Occupational Therapy

About Occupational Therapy

How do I know if being an OTA is right for me?

When someone is in need, are you quick to lend a hand? Have you often been described as a good listener?

As you choose your own career path, it is important to think about areas where you naturally excel in day-to-day life. those everyday talents - such as showing compassion, paying attention to detail, and even physical strength - will serve you well as an occupational therapy assistant. We invite you to find out more by contacting the Admissions Department at South University. Let us help point you in the right direction as you explore your future career path.

Occupational Therapy (OP) is a profession that promotes the health and well being of people across their lifespan. Occupational therapy assistants work with people who have physical, psychological, or developmental conditions to help them gain or regain skills lost due to injury or illness. Occupational therapy practitioners work with people of all ages or regain or accommodate the loss of motion, strength, coordination, sensation, perception, cognition, or balance.

What do Occupational Therapy Practitioners do?

Occupational therapy practitioners "treat the whole person" to help individuals perform meaningful and purposeful daily activities (occupations) that promote independence during leisure or at home, school, or work. Occupational therapy practitioners work closely with each individual to identify what is most important to him or her and enhance quality of life.

The registered occupational therapist (OTR) evaluates the client and develops a plan of care. The certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA) works under the supervision of the occupational therapist to implement the plan of care. The plan of care can be as simple as helping someone learn how to tie his or her shoes or as complex as helping someone regain movement, strength, and coordination on one side of the body.

Other examples of occupational therapy interventions include:

  • Training children in balance and coordination activities so they can fully participate in school activities.
  • Helping older adults recovering from a stroke to get dressed, bathe, and cook using only one hand.
  • Helping injured workers regain range of motion and muscle strength to re-enter the workforce.
  • Helping people with mental health impairments increase attention span and regain coping skills so they can fully participate in social situations.

The ultimate goal is to improve clients’ quality of life and their ability to perform daily activities as independently as possible.

Occupational therapy interventions also focus on adapting the environment, modifying the task, and teaching people skills. Occupational therapy services may include conducting comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., work, school) or making recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use. Occupational therapy practitioners provide education and training to clients, family members, and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners are an integral part of the therapy team.

Occupational therapy practitioners use meaningful activities (occupations) to engage clients in activities of daily living (e.g., eating, bathing, dressing, hygiene). Occupational therapy practitioners are trained to modify the environment and train individuals to use assistive technology to attain functional independence. Occupational therapy practitioners also help clients regain range of motion, muscle strength, endurance, and coordination as they engage in activities that are meaningful to each client. The occupational therapy practitioner will educate and train a person with an upper limb amputation to use the prosthesis in activities of daily living.

The occupational therapy and physical therapy practitioner work closely together to help the client become as independent as possible in his or her daily activities, including work, play, and leisure.

Where do OTAs Practice?

Areas of practice include pediatrics, mental health, physical disabilities, and geriatrics, working with people who have cancer, cardiopulmonary, metabolic, musculoskeletal, neurologic, neuromuscular, orthopedic, sensory conditions, and more.

Practice settings include but are not limited to acute care hospitals, rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, public and private school systems, and private practice.
Chat Live
Now processing...

The following error(s) have occurred:

{{ message }}

Thank you {{ SubmittedRif.FirstName }} {{ SubmittedRif.LastName }}!

A representative of South University will contact you shortly to help you find the program that matches your interest. Please further explore our school using the links below.

Ready to Apply?

We make the application process as smooth as possible so you can start earning your degree right away. Visit our Applying page for application instructions.

Apply now Chat Live Request Information

Ready to Apply?

We make the application process as smooth as possible so you can start earning your degree right away. Visit our Applying page for application instructions.

Apply now Chat Live Request Information