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Washington Occupational Therapy Aides

What is the definition of an aide?

"Occupational therapy aide" means a person who is trained to perform specific occupational therapy techniques under professional supervision as defined by the board but who does not perform activities that require advanced training in the sciences or practices involved in the profession of occupational therapy.

"Occupational therapy aide" means a person who is trained by an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant to perform client and nonclient related tasks. Occupational therapy aides are not primary service providers of occupational therapy in any practice setting. Occupational therapy aides do not provide skilled occupational therapy services.

What can an aide do?

"Client-related tasks" are routine tasks during which the aide may interact with the client but does not act as a primary service provider of 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 aide:

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

What type of supervision is required?

"Professional supervision" of an occupational therapy aide means in-person contact at the treatment site by an occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant licensed in the state of Washington. When client related tasks are provided by an occupational therapy aide more than once a week, professional supervision must occur at least weekly. When client related tasks are provided by an occupational therapy aide once a week or less, professional supervision must occur at least once every two weeks.

Occupational therapy aides must be professionally supervised and trained by an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy assistant licensed in the state of Washington. Professional supervision must include documented supervision and training.

    • The occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant shall train the occupational therapy aide on client and nonclient related tasks at least once a month.
    • When performing client related tasks, the occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant must ensure the occupational therapy aide is trained and competent in performing the task on the specific client.
    • The documentation must be maintained in a location determined by the supervising occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant.

Citations

RCW 18.59.020

WAC 246-847-010

WAC 246-847-010

WAC 246-847-135



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