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California Occupational Therapy Assistants
Definition of an OTA
“Occupational therapy assistant” means an individual who is licensed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, who is in good standing as determined by the board, and based thereon, who is qualified to assist in the practice of occupational therapy and who works under the appropriate supervision of a licensed occupational therapist.
What are OTAs allowed to do?
The occupational therapy assistant may contribute to the evaluation process by gathering data, administering standardized tests and reporting observations.
The occupational therapy assistant may contribute to the preparation, implementation and documentation of the treatment and discharge summary.
What activities are expressly prohibited?
The occupational therapy assistant may not evaluate independently or initiate treatment before the supervising occupational therapist performs an assessment/evaluation.
What are the responsibilities of the OT when delegating to a OTA?
The supervising occupational therapist shall determine the occupational therapy treatments the occupational therapy assistant may perform. In making this determination, the supervising occupational therapist shall consider the following:
What type of therapist supervision is required?
“Supervision of an occupational therapy assistant” means that the responsible occupational therapist shall at all times be responsible for all occupational therapy services provided to the client.
The supervising occupational therapist has the continuing responsibility to follow the progress of each patient, provide direct care to the patient, and to assure that the occupational therapy assistant does not function autonomously.
Appropriate supervision of an occupational therapy assistant includes, at a minimum:
What is the ratio between supervising OTs and OTAs?
An occupational therapist shall not supervise more occupational therapy assistants, at any one time, than can be appropriately supervised in the opinion of the board. Two occupational therapy assistants shall be the maximum number of occupational therapy assistants supervised by an occupational therapist at any one time, but the board may permit the supervision of a greater number by an occupational therapist if, in the opinion of the board, there would be adequate supervision and the public’s health and safety would be served. In no case shall the total number of occupational therapy assistants exceed twice the number of occupational therapists regularly employed by a facility at any one time.
What the supervising OT document?
The occupational therapist who is responsible for appropriate supervision shall formulate and document in each client’s record, with his or her signature, the goals and plan for that client, and shall make sure that the occupational therapy assistant assigned to that client functions under appropriate supervision. As part of the responsible occupational therapist’s appropriate supervision, he or she shall conduct at least weekly review and inspection of all aspects of occupational therapy services by the occupational therapy assistant.
OTA Supervision and Delegation
Occupational therapy assistants may supervise:
Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 2570.2
Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 2570.3
Cal. Code Regs. tit. 16 § 4181
Cal. Code Regs. tit. 16 § 4182