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Florida Occupational Therapy Aides

Who is classified as an aide?

An occupational therapy aide is an unlicensed person who assists in the practice of occupational therapy, who works under the direct supervision of a licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant and whose activities require an understanding of occupational therapy but do not require professional or advanced training in the basic anatomical, biological, psychological, and social sciences involved in the practice of occupational therapy. An occupational therapy aide is a worker who is trained on the job to provide support services to occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants. The term occupational therapist aide as used in this section means any unlicensed personnel involved in the practice of occupational therapy.

What can an aide do?

A licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant may delegate to occupational therapy aides only specific tasks which are neither evaluative, assessive, task selective nor recommending in nature, and only after insuring that the aide has been appropriately trained for the performance of the task.

Occupational therapy aides may perform ministerial duties, tasks and functions without direct supervision which shall include, but not be limited to:

  • Clerical or secretarial activities;
  • Transportation of patients/clients;
  • Preparing, maintaining or setting up of treatment equipment and work area;
  • Taking care of patients’/clients’ personal needs during treatment.

What is an aide expressly prohibited from doing?

Occupational therapy aides shall not perform tasks that are either evaluative, assessive, task selective or recommending in nature which shall include, but not be limited to:

  • Interpret referrals or prescriptions for occupational therapy services;
  • Perform evaluative procedures;
  • Develop, plan, adjust, or modify treatment procedures;
  • Act on behalf of the occupational therapist in any matter related to direct patient care which requires judgment or decision making except when an emergency condition exists;
  • Act independently or without direct supervision of an occupational therapist;
  • Patient treatment;
  • Any activities which an occupational therapy aide has not demonstrated competence in performing.

What are the responsibilities of the OT when delegating to an aide?

Any duties assigned to an occupational therapy aide must be determined and appropriately supervised by a licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant and must not exceed the level of training, knowledge, skill, and competence of the individual being supervised. The licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant is totally and wholly responsible for the acts or actions performed by any occupational therapy aide functioning in the occupational therapy setting.

What type of supervision is required?

All delegated patient related tasks must be carried out under direct supervision, which means that the aide must be within the line of vision of the supervising occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.

Citations

Fla. Stat. ยง 468.203

Fla. Admin. Code R. 64B11-4.002



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