If you are interested in becoming an occupational therapist assistant or physiotherapist assistant, you may be wondering whether to attend an occupational therapy university in Canada . While there are benefits to both options, college undertakings generally offer more of a hands-on approach, which is very valuable when training for a field where you will literally be using your hands for every task. Centennial College’s Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapy Assistant program, for example, strives to balance theory with practical application so that when students complete their two years of training, they are fully employable.

The campus at which the offering is housed plays a huge role in preparing students. It is Centennial College’s most technological location and features a mock clinical setting in which students can practice, both in class and during their spare time. Courses within the offering are all designed to help students to develop the knowledge and skills to work with clients in need of assistance to perform self-care, promote movement, improve function and participate in leisure activities.

Here are just a few of the beneficial Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapy Assistant courses.

Introduction to Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy: Setting the foundation for the rest of the offering is this first-semester course, which teaches students to examine their ethical beliefs and how they apply to helping others.  Examination of the scope of practice of the OTA/PTA is enhanced by the introduction of self-assessment through reflection that will carry on throughout the program.

Normal Function and Movement: To help clients with movement, it is vital have an understanding of movement in the human body. Students learn to describe the human body in motion, based on theoretical application of anatomy and practical study of functional movement. For a practical aspect, students examine the movement process and how interruption of that movement presents difficulties.

Mental Health Concepts & Techniques: A general overview of common psychiatric disorders, their management, theories of mental illness and psychosocial practice gives students the knowledge they need to address clients’ emotional issues. As well, current issues in mental health as well as social-cultural and developmental perspectives are explored. 

Occupational Therapy Therapeutic Skills – Parts 1 and 2: Split into two parts, the first of these two courses focuses on the practical application of OTA/PTA skills in the laboratory setting. A number of clinical techniques are learned through the application of therapeutic activities in the treatment of specific conditions. The second course, meanwhile, sees students practice advanced techniques to apply in their OTA role. Independence with activities of daily living continues to be stressed as the outcome to strive for in using advanced remedial and adaptive techniques.

Rehabilitation Practice 1 and 2: These courses are facilitated from the field, so that students may apply what they have learned in real-world settings. The first is in the third semester where students work along with a preceptor and under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist. The second of these two courses is in the fourth semester and offers students an opportunity to consolidate both the roles of the OTA and PTA in specific settings.