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Illinois Occupational Therapy Assistants

Definition of a OTA

"Occupational therapy assistant" means a person initially registered and licensed to assist in the practice of occupational therapy under the supervision of a licensed occupational therapist, and to implement the occupational therapy treatment program as established by the licensed occupational therapist.

What are the responsibilities of the OT when delegating to a OTA?

Supervision is a process in which 2 or more persons participate in a joint effort to establish, maintain and elevate a level of performance and shall include the following criteria:

  • To maintain high standards of practice based on professional principles, supervision shall connote the physical presence of the supervisors and the assistant at regularly scheduled supervision sessions.
  • Supervision shall be provided in varying patterns as determined by the demands of the areas of patient/client service and the competency of the individual assistant.  Such supervision shall be structured according to the assistant's qualifications, position, level of preparation, depth of experience and the environment within which he/she functions.
  • The supervisors shall be responsible for the standard of work performed by the assistant and shall have knowledge of the patients/clients and the problems being discussed.  Co-signature does not reflect supervision.

What type of therapist supervision is required?

The occupational therapy assistant who has less than one year of work experience or who is entering new practice environments or developing new skills shall receive a minimum of 5% on-site face‑to-face supervision from a registered occupational therapist per month.  On-site supervision consists of direct, face-to-face collaboration in which the supervisor must be on the premises.  The remaining work hours shall be supervised by a combination of telephone, electronic communication, telecommunication, technology or face-to-face consultation.

The occupational therapy assistant with more than one year of experience in his/her current practice shall have a minimum of 5% direct supervision from a registered occupational therapist per month.  The 5% direct supervision shall consist of 2% direct, face-to-face collaboration.  The remaining 3% of supervision shall be a combination of telephone, electronic communication, telecommunication technology or face-to-face consultation. The remaining work hours will be supervised in varying patterns as determined by the demands of the areas of patient/client service and the competency of the individual assistant.  Such supervision shall be structured according to the assistant's qualifications, position, level of preparation, depth of experience and the environment within which he/she functions

What must a OTA document?

 It is the responsibility of the occupational therapy assistant to maintain on file at the job site signed documentation reflecting supervision activities.  This supervision documentation shall contain the following:  date of supervision, means of communication, information discussed and the outcomes of the interaction. 

Signature Requirements

Both the supervising occupational therapist and the occupational therapy assistant must sign each entry.

Citations

225 ILCS 75/2

Ill. Admin. Code § 1315.163


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