C a r o   t a l k s
a b o u t   C. O. T. A.



What C.O.T.A. means
As a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA), I work with the Occupational Therapist (OTR) to provide restorative, supportive, and preventive services to people with physical injury or illness. Together, the OTR and I help our clients with physical dysfunction, psychosocial dysfunction, and developmental or learning disabilities. With our techniques and therapies, they learn daily living skills and can achieve a higher level of independent functioning.

After the initial evaluation and the development of goals by the OTR, my job begins with an assessment of the patient. Then I engage him or her in purposeful activity to achieve the initial goals.

Special Training
To qualify for work as a C.O.T.A., you must complete a two-year Associates Degree program in Occupational Therapy. Upon passing the State Board's exam, you'll be licensed to practice as an OT. Then you must apply and obtain a license to practice in the State where you live and work. Each State has its own rules and regulations about licensure.

Throughout your career, you'll need to study new techniques and theories in seminars, self-study programs, and on the job. You must also keep your State license activated. The cost of the license and the qualifying terms vary from state to state. For more information, phone 1-800-SAY-AOTA.

The Tools of Occupational Therapy
In Occupational Therapy, we often get creative, developing and adapting tools and equipment to help our patients learn new ways of performing various skills. We use a goniometer, an instrument for measuring angles, to determine the range of a joint. Other adaptive equipment includes sock aids, long handle sponges, long handle shoe horns, dressing sticks, reachers, and, of course, tub transfer benches and shower chairs.

Some equipment is manufactured by reliable firms. Often we use standard exercise equipment. Sometimes, though, we make our own equipment, such as over-the-door pulley systems and rainbow archs for full shoulder range.


Rainbow Arch
Hand Exercises

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Questions, comments, or messages are always welcome.
If you are a COTA too, please share your experiences with me at caro at chipsters dot com.