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Why Penn Foster?

  • Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

Enroll in Penn Foster’s Occupational Therapy Aide program and complete it in as little as one month. Occupational Therapy Aides are in high demand. In fact, this is one of the fastest growing occupations, with jobs expected to increase 36% in the coming years!* As an occupational therapy aide, you will help patients improve their movement and ability to perform everyday tasks, as well as assist therapists and other personnel with office procedures.

As part of our accredited Occupational Therapy Aide Program, you will receive resources such as the Wisc-Online® Medical Terminology Jukebox. Plus, this program includes a Work Experience Option, which allows you to gain field experience relative to your program and career goals.

Curriculum Details

Unit 1

Introduction to Occupational Therapy

In this course, you’ll learn what the practice of occupational therapy is all about.

Objectives:

  • Explore the history of physical therapy.
  • Understand the roles of the members of a rehabilitation team.
The Physical/Occupational Therapy Aide

Occupational therapy aides are skilled health-care workers who are important parts of the rehabilitative team.

Objective:

  • Understand the role of the occupational therapy aide, which includes administering treatments to patients, performing administrative duties, and helping the facility run smoothly and efficiently.

Unit 2

Introduction to Medical Terminology

Become familiar with the medical terms that you will hear on a daily basis in your new career.

Objective:

  • Expand your understanding of medical terminology to include the anatomy, pathology, procedures, and abbreviations associated with the nervous, sensory, circulatory, and respiratory systems.
Body Systems Terminology

A body system is composed of organs that are designed to work together so that a particular function—such as breathing—can be performed. 

Objective:

  • Understand terminology associated with musculoskeletal, nervous, sensory, circulatory, and respiratory systems.
Additional Unit Materials

Online Resources: Access to MedlinePlus/Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, mobile apps, Wisc-Online® Medical Terminology Jukebox, and abbreviations guides

Unit 3

Activities of Daily Living

Injury, disease, and illness can affect our ability to perform many of the activities we take for granted. The goal of occupational therapy is to enable the patient to perform these daily activities, called activities of daily living, at the highest level of independence possible. 

Objectives:

  • Determine which activities a patient needs or wants to participate in.
  • Understand how every human being develops over a lifetime—and how an injury, disability, or disease can affect normal development.
Adaptive Equipment

Adaptive equipment is the term used for the devices an ill or injured person uses to help achieve functional independence.

Objectives:

  • Identify and utilize some of the most common adaptive equipment used in occupational.
  • Understand how adaptive equipment can help patients to become more independent.

Unit 4

Clinical Work Experience Option

This program includes an optional work experience component. Looking to your future, we’re providing you with this Work Experience Option Supplement that can be used to help you find a position as a trainee in a medical facility.

Therapeutic Treatment

Learn about many of the common therapeutic treatments used in occupational therapy. 

Objective:

  • Describe the role that you’ll play in treatments designed for patients with many different kinds of injuries and diseases.
Customer Service

Rehabilitation clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and other providers of therapy have cut costs by hiring aides to assist therapists in the delivery of care to patients.

Objectives:

  • Understand an aide’s role as a customer service provider and how to provide high-quality care.
  • Describe and apply important customer service skills.

Computer Specifications
You will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows XP® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft, Windows, and Windows XP are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view an Occupational Therapy Aide sample lesson, click here.

Occupational Therapy Aide Course Details

Penn Foster will help you gain the knowledge and skills you need:

  • Activities of Daily Living (ADL) therapy and adaptive equipment
  • Therapeutic treatment
  • Medical and body systems terminology
  • Communicate effectively with patients, the rehabilitative team, and other personnel

Aide duties are closely regulated by the American Occupational Therapy Association, by individual states, and by the supervising occupational therapist. Duties in each state vary. The aide position is an unregulated, unlicensed, uncertified, unregistered profession. There are no requirements for an aide in any state. The program is not sufficient for an assistant in any state. Assistants require specific educational training, certification, and licensure examinations in every state.

* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook," 2014-15 Edition, Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides, on the Internet here (visited February 5, 2014).

As an occupational therapy aide, you can work for schools, clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and in sports medicine. Here are a few qualities that effective occupational therapy aides have in common:

  • Sociable: Spending time with others is fun and rewarding.
  • Compassionate: You care about the health and well-being of others.
  • Cooperative: You are pleasant and a good communicator.
  • Patient: Helping others recover from injuries is a step-by-step process that can take time.

It was great acquiring a new skill from Penn Foster. I would recommend any of my friends to enroll at Penn Foster.

- Kate A., Occupational Therapy Aide Graduate

My overall experience with Penn Foster was great. You are allowed to go at your own speed, and the school gives encouragement to keep you going. I would recommend Penn Foster.

- James R., Penn Foster Graduate

I am so happy that I made a career change with the help of Penn Foster. Penn Foster makes it easy, and they are always supportive and encouraging to you. Whenever I had a question, I just gave my instructors a call, and they were very helpful and easy to talk with. The online testing made it convenient, and my shipments always arrived right on time.

-Christina R., Penn Foster Graduate

We make sure you have everything you need:

  • Graduate debt free with 0% interest
  • Learning aids included: Wisc-Online® Medical Terminology Jukebox, and more
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our world-class faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online campus, plus immediate membership in the Occupational Therapy Aide academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Are there any internship opportunities with the Occupational Therapy Aide career diploma program?

Yes, this program includes an optional independent work experience component that can be used to help you find a position as a trainee in a medical facility.

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