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.
What to Include in Your Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Description
Most assistants work under close supervision, but you might be looking to fill a more autonomous role. Perhaps you need help with billing, patient records or scheduling. Maybe you need someone to handle physical treatments or inventory. This is a specialized role that still covers a wide range of duties. Just be specific about what you need. Here are the main sections that should be included in an occupational therapy assistant job description.
• Job Title and Summary –Because this position requires a certification, you don’t have much leeway on the title, unless the position will be primarily administrative or otherwise unique. It’s best to stick with standard wording that shows up in search engines. Be sure to state the main purpose in your job summary at the top of the description. This should be a short, concise overview of the open role.
• Job Responsibilities –This is the place to go into detail about what candidates should expect on the job. Use bullet points to list at least five distinct tasks. Try to incorporate good action verbs, and always use present tense. For example, your assistant might “verify intake forms” or “transfer patients from a wheelchair to a bed.” It’s important to be transparent, especially if the job requires a considerable amount of physical ability or movement. Don’t sugarcoat anything that may sound unpleasant. There should be no surprises on the job.
• Qualifications – Healthcare assistant roles tend to attract entry-level candidates, so be clear about the amount of experience you require or the specific training you prefer. Not only will this help you find the best fit, but it will also be your primary weed-out tool and save you from sifting through hundreds of resumes.
• Company Description –Occupational therapy is a broad field. Your assistant might be working in a hospital, clinic, school or a home-based environment. These are all very different. Take some time to highlight the benefits of your organization. State your chosen approach to patient care, and list some past collective accomplishments or ways that current employees are innovating the profession.
• Call to Action –While seemingly simple, a closing invite makes a big impact on a job description. Candidates will easily pick up on your tone, and you want to make sure the most qualified candidates feel comfortable applying. Most importantly, give specific directions such as “apply here” or “email your resume.”
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Writing Your Occupational Therapy Assistant Job Description: Do’s and Don’ts
Use the following tips to help you write a more purposeful description:
• Do provide value. Healthcare is definitely a field where employees want to matter. Occupational therapy, in particular, is a collaborative profession, so be sure to convey a sense of purpose and need throughout your description.
• Don’t get wordy. Few people have time for lengthy paragraphs, particularly those passive candidates with the most experience and the best patient skills. Always use bullet points for job duties, and be concise with everything you include.
• Do include a link. A little push can be the deciding factor for those talented candidates who are not actively looking. Rather than listing step after step, do some of the legwork yourself and incorporate a hyperlink directly into your description. This gets your candidates right where they need to be.
• Do consider an app. Finance is not the only industry going mobile. There are dozens of job board apps created specifically for healthcare. This is where the rising talent will be looking.
• Do collaborate. Seek input from your co-workers, especially if you work in an office or clinical setting. If you’re a solo practitioner, don’t be afraid to ask your patients for feedback.
• Don’t offer a salary range without checking with your company policy. This varies considerably from private hospitals to public schools.
• Do have it edited. You’ll look much more credible without grammar errors and misspelled words. It never hurts to get a second opinion.
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.