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North Carolina Occupational Therapy Aides

What is the definition of an aide?

"Unlicensed personnel" means individuals within an occupational therapy setting who provide supportive services to the occupational therapist and the occupational therapy assistant and who function only under the guidance, responsibility, and supervision of the licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant to provide only specifically selected client-related or non-client related tasks for which the unlicensed personnel has been trained and has demonstrated competence.

What can an aide do?

Non-client related tasks include clerical and maintenance activities and preparation of the work area or equipment.

Client-related tasks are routine tasks during which the unlicensed personnel may interact with the client but does not provide skilled occupational therapy services. The following factors must be present when an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant delegates a selected client-related task to the unlicensed personnel:

    • The outcome anticipated for the delegated task is predictable;
    • The situation of the client and environment is stable and will not require the judgment interpretation, or adaptations be made by the unlicensed personnel;
    • The client has demonstrated some previous performance ability in executing the task; and
    • The task routine and process have been established.

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

The occupational therapist must oversee the development, documentation, and implementation of a plan to supervise and routinely assess the ability of the unlicensed personnel to carry out client and non-client related tasks. The occupational therapy assistant may contribute to the development and documentation of this plan.

When performing delegated client-related tasks the supervisor must ensure that the unlicensed personnel:

    • Is trained and able to demonstrate competency in carrying out the selected task and using equipment, if appropriate;
    • Has been instructed on how to specifically carry out the delegated task with the specific client, and
    • Knows the precautions, signs and symptoms for the particular client that would indicated the need to seek assistance for the occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.

What type of supervision is required?

Unlicensed personnel or volunteers may be supervised by occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants.

Documentation of Supervision

The supervision of the unlicensed personnel must be documented and include:

    • Information about frequency and methods of supervision used;
    • The content of supervision; and
    • The names and credentials of all persons participating in the supervisory process

Citations

21 NCAC 38.0103

21 NCAC 38.1102


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