Are you directing your sales pitch at the right candidates? When you are working with patients on long-term rehabilitation strategies, you want team members who understand how people progress. In order to hire the right talent, you need to know how to find it. Use the following occupational therapy assistant job description sample as a template during the hiring process. Be transparent and specific but also concise.
Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Summary
The selected candidate will work under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist. He or she must be capable of providing assistance to persons with emotional, mental, physical and developmental challenges. Treatment involves individual therapy intervention and therapeutic techniques.
Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Duties and Responsibilities
- Interview clients to verify medical history and confirm possible treatment.
- Maintain all patient records in complete confidence.
- Work with a licensed occupational therapist to develop an individual treatment plan for each patient.
- Order, maintain and verify inventory.
- Maintain all mobile and stationary equipment. Tasks include troubleshooting, preventative maintenance and scheduling professional repairs.
- Help patients become more independent. Areas of focus: cognitive skills, muscle strength, coordination, mobility, personal hygiene, balance, joint protection, orientation, work simplification, stretching and community reintegration.
- Work with injured patients to relearn and improve the motor skills required to return to work.
- Monitor activities, provide encouragement and inform the therapist of any problems.
- Physically help patients move from a bed to a wheelchair.
- Process billing for services.
- Comply with all professional standards, company policies and government laws.
- Improve job skills through continued education, networking and affiliation with professional organizations.
Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Requirements
- Associate’s degree required
- 3 years experience in healthcare, with at least 1 year as an occupational therapy assistant
- Computer proficient
- Working knowledge of Word, Excel and Outlook
- Ability to maintain patient confidentiality
Able to freely lift up to 50 lbs. and support the weight of a full-size adult using equipment and assistance
- Exceptional communication skills
- Available to travel regularly to homes within the Atlanta metro
- Must be compassionate, patient, competent and friendly
Integrity Healthcare is private network of physical therapists, occupational therapists and chiropractors. We work to improve the quality of life for patients of all ages and backgrounds. We focus on holistic therapies using advanced techniques and personalized plans, and all of our therapists, assistants and non-clinical employees are held to high standards of compassion. We recently opened the doors of our new Marietta clinic where we will continue to serve patients throughout greater Atlanta.
Best Practices When Writing a Job Description
- Use the occupational therapy assistant job description sample above as a reference, but make sure yours is unique. Don’t use words just because they sound good. Instead, use key phrases that convey your need, expectations and overall mission. Here are a few practices to keep in mind:
- Don’t list trivial tasks. Avoid obvious requests like “must be able to lift 5 lbs.” On the other hand, it might be wise to let candidates know that they will be expected to lift 50 lbs. Likewise, you probably don’t need to list a language preference unless you work with a large non-English speaking population. In general, use your best judgment.
- Do be direct. Put yourself in the applicant’s shoes by presenting a clear picture of your expectations and the daily routine.
- Don’t include salary information.
- Do discuss hours, days and scheduling details.
- Don’t assume other positions are the same. Be sure to talk about your specific organization. What is your culture like? What are your co-workers saying? It’s important to find someone who will work well with your patients and with your internal team.
- Do use bullets. This is the best way to organize job duties. Lengthy paragraphs just waste space. If you give your candidates a quick way to assess the information, you’ll reduce the number of unqualified applications you receive.
- Don’t write it alone. Even if you’re the practicing therapist, get input from your co-workers or even outside colleagues. Also, hiring an assistant is a great excuse to reassess your current strategies and approach to patient care.
- Do provide instructions. Some employers use the application process as way to test an applicant’s ability to follow directions. This is old-school thought and only wastes time. If you prefer an emailed resume, say that in your job ad. If you prefer an online application, then direct your candidates to a specific link.
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Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Responsibilities
In your occupational therapy assistant job description, the job responsibilities section is the meatiest portion. It serves two purposes: clearly communicating the duties and day-to-day tasks that your new hire will perform and attracting qualified talent to your job opening by giving them a clear picture of what exactly they’ll do for your organization.
Follow best practices for composing and formatting this section of your occupational therapy assistant job description. Content that is easy to read is just as important as the message it communicates. To accomplish this, format your job’s core duties in a list of 6-8 bullet points and use action verbs to convey the high points of the position. That way, you’ll call visual emphasis to your text, clearly describe the job and achieve your objective of drawing in top talent.
You might use these occupational therapy assistant job responsibilities as a starting point for your own list:
- Consult with clients to determine their needs and construct a custom-tailored program
- Update and maintain patient records with medical information and progress reports
- Recommend and instruct clients in methods to improve quality of life, rehabilitate from injuries and regain aspects of their independence
- Order necessary supplies and equipment for clients
Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Specifications
The job skills and qualifications segment comes next in your occupational therapy assistant job description, and it’s where you will demonstrate what abilities, work experience and educational background are necessary to perform the job. Crafting solid content for this section is just as critical as it was for the first half of your job posting. Some helpful guidelines here should aid you in writing this portion as well. Not only that, you’ll more effectively draw qualified applicants while cutting back on the possible number of replies from less-skilled candidates.
You’ll need input from the appropriate hiring managers or senior leadership, so don’t pen any text until you’ve met with them first. Collaborate with these individuals to devise a list of important skills, career expertise and educational requirements the successful candidate must possess. Some of these are probably bare minimum guidelines, while others are bonuses that the new hire can bring to the position. Separate these into two lists, “required” and “preferred,” and label them appropriately in your occupational therapy assistant job description.
Here are some great examples of occupational therapy assistant job specifications:
- Associate’s degree or greater in occupational therapy
- At least 2 years of previous experience in an assisted living environment
- Strong interpersonal communication abilities
- Excellent problem-solving, analytical and critical thinking skills