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Alabama Occupational Therapy Assistants

Which services are OTAs allowed to practice?

OTAs may practice occupational therapy accept for the tasks specifically enumerated below.

Are there specific services that OTAs are prohibited from practicing?

A licensed OTA shall not:

    • Evaluate or develop a treatment plan independently;
    • Initiate a treatment plan before a client or patient is evaluated and a written treatment plan is prepared by an OT;
    • Continue a treatment procedure appearing harmful to a patient or client until the procedure is reevaluated by an OT; or
    • Continue or discontinue occupational therapy services unless the treatment plan is approved or re-approved by a supervising OT.

Responsibilities of an OT delegating to an OTA

An OT must assign an increased level of supervision if the OTA is new to a practice setting or particular skill. An OT must assign an increased level of supervision if necessary for the safety of a patient or client.

All OTs who delegate to an OTA must participate in the supervision of that OTA.

The OT shall ensure that the OTA is assigned only those duties and responsibilities for which the assistant has been specifically educated and which the OTA is qualified to perform.

What type of supervision is required?

A supervising OTA shall supervise a licensed OTA as follows:

    • Supervision should be “Direct” at the discretion of the supervising OT.
    • Supervision should be “Close” if the OTA has less than 12 months of experience.
    • Supervision should be at least “General” if an OTA has more than 12 months of experience.
    • For OTAs employed by state agencies and those employed by public schools and colleges of this state who provide screening and rehabilitation services for the educationally related needs of the student, the “Direct” and “close” supervision mandate based on work experience does not apply. In these instances, supervision should be at least “General”.

OTAs working part-time should have no less than one (1) hour of direct supervision per calendar month, and meet all other supervision requirements.

OTAs who work with more than one employer must notify the board of the supervisor(s) for each employer.

Does the supervising OT need to co-sign documentation created by the OTA?

N/A

What is the ratio between supervising OTs and OTAs?

An OT may supervise up to three (3) full-time OTAs, but never more than two (2) OTAs who require “direct” level of supervision.

Required designation for assistants

Any person who is issued a license as an OTA under the terms of this chapter may use the words "occupational therapy assistant," "licensed occupational therapy assistant ," "certified occupational therapy assistant," or may use the letters "O.T.A. ," "L.O.T.A.," or "C.O.T.A./L." in connection with his or her name or place of business to denote registration hereunder.

Reference

Ala. Code §34-39-3

Ala. Admin. Code §625-X-8-.01

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