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Ohio Occupational Therapy Assistants

What services are OTAs allowed to practice?

The occupational therapy assistant may contribute to and collaborate in:

    • The evaluation process by gathering data, administering standardized tests and /or objective measurement tools, and reporting observations.
    • The preparation, implementation, and documentation of the treatment/intervention plan and the discharge plan.
    • Choosing the appropriate treatment interventions.

The occupational therapy assistant may independently:

    • Select the daily modality of choice according to the established treatment/intervention plan.
    • Document the progress and outcomes summary.

Can an OTA complete a home assessment?

A home assessment is an assessment typically performed prior to discharge home from an inpatient or skilled nursing rehabilitation setting. It is primarily performed to determine equipment and environmental needs for the client's safety at home. It is not an evaluation performed within home health services.

A home assessment may be performed by an occupational therapy assistant (OTA) with a current client under an established occupational therapy treatment/intervention plan. The OTA can gather objective information and report observations, with or without the client and/or occupational therapist (OT) present. It is the responsibility of the OT to interpret the data gathered by the OTA and collaborate with the OTA to make recommendations. Any collaboration between the OT and OTA must be reflected in client documentation.

Can an OTA perform a screen?

Screens, or identification of candidates for therapy, may be performed by an occupational therapy assistant since a screen is only data gathering and non-evaluative in nature. All screens must be co-signed by the occupational therapist with collaboration documented.

Are there specific services that OTAs are prohibited from practicing?

The occupational therapy assistant may not evaluate independently or initiate treatment/intervention before the supervising occupational therapist performs an evaluation.

What type of supervision is required?

General Supervision

The supervising occupational therapist may be the occupational therapist who performed the initial evaluation or another occupational therapist with whom that occupational therapist has a documented agreement.

Supervision of the occupational therapy assistant requires initial direction and periodic inspection of the service delivery and relevant in-service training.

The supervising occupational therapist need not be on-site but must be available for consultation with the occupational therapy assistant at all times.

The supervising occupational therapist must provide supervision at least one time per month for all occupational therapy assistants beyond their first year of practice.

What kind of supervision is necessary for OTAs in their first year of practice?

The supervising occupational therapist must provide supervision at least one time per week for all occupational therapy assistants who are in their first year of practice.

What is the supervision process between an OT and OTA?

Supervision requires an interactive process between the supervising occupational therapist and the occupational therapy assistant. The interactive process must include, but is not limited to, review of the following:

    • Client assessment;
    • Client reassessment;
    • Treatment/intervention plan;
    • Intervention; and
    • Discontinuation of treatment/intervention plan.

How do the OT and OTA demonstrate that supervision occurred?

It is the responsibility of the occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant to establish evidence that the supervision occurred in accordance with the requirements of this rule. This evidence may include documentation in the client record, or it may exist as a separate document, such as a collaboration log.

Responsibilities of the OT when delegating to the OTA

The occupational therapy assistant may implement the occupational therapy treatment/intervention plan established by the supervising occupational therapist. The supervising occupational therapist shall consider the following when delegating to the occupational therapy assistant:

    • The clinical complexity of the client;
    • The competency of the occupational therapy assistant;
    • The occupational therapy assistant’s level of training in the treatment/intervention technique; and
    • Whether continual reassessment of the client’s status is needed during treatment/intervention.
    • The occupational therapy assistant may respond to acute changes in the client’s condition that warrant immediate action.

Does the supervising occupational therapist need to co-sign documentation created by the OTA?

Any documentation written by an occupational therapy assistant, student occupational therapist, or student occupational therapy assistant for inclusion in the client’s official record shall be co-signed by the supervising occupational therapist.

Co-signing client documentation alone does not meet the minimum level of supervision.

What is the ratio between supervising OTs and OTAs?

N/A

Who can an OTA supervise?

“Supervising occupational therapy assistant” means the occupational therapy assistant who is appropriately available to supervise the student occupational therapy assistant, the student occupational therapist who is completing the level I fieldwork experience, or unlicensed personnel.

The supervising occupational therapy assistant is accountable and responsible at all times for the actions of all student occupational therapy assistants and unlicensed personnel supervised by the supervising occupational therapy assistant.

Required designation for assistants

“OTA/L” if the occupational therapy assistant does not hold current NBCOT certification; or

“COTA/L” if the occupational therapy assistant holds current NBCOT certification.

Citation

Ohio Rev. Code § 4755.04

Ohio Admin. Code § 4755-7-01

Ohio Admin. Code § 4755-7-02

Ohio Admin. Code § 4755-7-03

Ohio Admin. Code § 4755-7-10

Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Athletic Trainers Board FAQs


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