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Massachusetts Occupational Therapy Assistants

Definition of a OTA

''Occupational therapy assistant'', a person duly licensed in accordance with section twenty-three B and who assists in the practice of occupational therapy who works under the supervision of a duly licensed occupational therapist.

Performance of Services by Occupational Therapy Assistants

    • Occupational therapy assistants may not initiate or alter a treatment program without prior evaluation by and approval of the supervising occupational therapist.
    • Occupational therapy assistants may, with prior approval of the supervising occupational therapist, adjust a specific treatment procedure in accordance with changes in client status.
    • Occupational therapy assistants may not interpret data beyond the scope of their occupational therapy assistant education.
    • Occupational therapy assistants may respond to inquiries regarding client status to appropriate parties within the protocol established by the supervising occupational therapist.
    • Occupational therapy assistants shall refer inquiries regarding client prognosis to a supervising occupational therapist.

What type of therapist supervision is required?

An occupational therapist must provide supervision to occupational therapy assistants.

Supervision. A process by which two or more people participate in joint effort to establish, maintain and elevate a level of performance. Supervision requires the physical presence of all parties at regularly scheduled supervision sessions. Supervision is structured according to the supervisee's qualifications, position, level of preparation, depth of experience and the environment within which the supervisee functions.

What is the ratio between supervising OTs and OTAs?

Occupational therapists must exercise their professional judgement when determining the number of supportive personnel they can safely and effectively supervise to ensure that quality care is provided at all times.

Responsibilities of OTA when Supervising

Occupational therapy assistants must exercise their professional judgement when determining the number of supportive personnel they can safely and effectively supervise to ensure that quality care is provided at all times.

An occupational therapy assistant must provide supervision to occupational therapy assistants with temporary licenses.

An occupational therapy assistant must provide direct supervision to the following persons providing occupational therapy services:

    • Occupational therapy assistant students; and
    • Occupational therapy aides, rehabilitation aides or persons known by other similar titles.

What must a OTA document?

The occupational therapy assistant’s primary role is to document the following: 

    • Objective data from assessments with established service competency; and 
    • Patient progress notes as directed by the Occupational Therapist.

Signature Requirements

The supervising occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant must co-sign the documentation of occupational therapy assistant students and those holding temporary licenses as occupational therapy assistants.

Occupational therapy assistants are not required to have their documentation co-signed.

Identification

Occupational therapy assistants shall use the initials OTA after their name.

Citations

259 CMR 3.02

259 CMR 3.04

259 CMR 3.06



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