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Career and Education Opportunities for Occupational Therapy Assistants in Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for occupational therapy assistants. About 420 people are currently employed as occupational therapy assistants in Connecticut. By 2016, this is expected to grow 14% to about 470 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for occupational therapy assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 29.8% over the next eight years. In general, occupational therapy assistants assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures.

The income of an occupational therapy assistant is about $25 per hour or $53,320 annually on average in Connecticut. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $23 per hour or $48,230 yearly on average. Incomes for occupational therapy assistants are better than in the overall category of Occupational Therapy in Connecticut, and better than the overall Occupational Therapy category nationally. Occupational therapy assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: health service worker, occupational therapist assistant, and certified occupational therapy assistant .

The Bridgeport area is home to seventy-five schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Bridgeport where you can get a degree as an occupational therapy assistant. The most common level of education for occupational therapy assistants is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. It will take about two years to learn to be an occupational therapy assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational Therapy Assistant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, occupational therapy assistants assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. They also may, in accordance with State laws, assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments.

Occupational therapy assistants observe and record patients' progress and behavior, and maintain this data in client archives. They also report to supervisors, verbally or in writing, on patients' progress, attitudes and behavior. Equally important, occupational therapy assistants have to monitor patients' performance in therapy efforts, providing encouragement. They are often called upon to maintain and promote a positive attitude toward clients and their treatment programs. They are expected to teach patients how to deal constructively with their emotions. Finally, occupational therapy assistants layout and repair assistive devices and make adaptive changes to apparatus and environments.

Every day, occupational therapy assistants are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for occupational therapy assistants to order any needed educational or treatment supplies. They are often called upon to aid patients in dressing and grooming themselves. They also execute clerical duties such as scheduling appointments and documenting health insurance billings. They are sometimes expected to assist educational specialists or clinical psychologists in administering situational or diagnostic tests to measure client's abilities or progress. Somewhat less frequently, occupational therapy assistants are also expected to maintain and promote a positive attitude toward clients and their treatment programs.

Occupational therapy assistants sometimes are asked to implement, or assist occupational therapists with implementing, treatment plans designed to help clients function independently. and evaluate the daily living skills and capacities of physically, developmentally or emotionally disabled clients. And finally, they sometimes have to report to supervisors, verbally or in writing, on patients' progress, attitudes and behavior.

Like many other jobs, occupational therapy assistants must believe in cooperation and coordination and have exceptional integrity.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Occupational Therapy Assistant Training

Briarwood College - Southington, CT

Briarwood College, 2279 Mount Vernon Rd, Southington, CT 06489-1057. Briarwood College is a small college located in Southington, Connecticut. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 715 students. Briarwood College has an associate's degree program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated eight students in 2008.

Housatonic Community College - Bridgeport, CT

Housatonic Community College, 900 Lafayette Blvd, Bridgeport, CT 06604-4704. Housatonic Community College is a medium sized college located in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,081 students. Housatonic Community College has an associate's degree program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated nine students in 2008.

LICENSES

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Licensing agency: Department of Public Health
Address: Health Care Systems Branch, Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section, 410 Capitol Avenue, P.O.Box 340308, Hartford, CT 06134-0308

Phone: (860) 509-7603
Website: Department of Public Health Health Care Systems Branch Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section

LOCATION INFORMATION: Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport, Connecticut photo by Xtremeyanksfan22

Bridgeport is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 136,405, which has shrunk by 2.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bridgeport, 151, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Bridgeport are valued at $110,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-six new homes were built in Bridgeport, down from forty-one the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Bridgeport are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 12.2% of Bridgeport residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Bridgeport is 12.1%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Bridgeport residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 70.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Calvary Episcopal Church, Golden Hill United Methodist Church and Good Shepherd Christian Church are among the churches located in Bridgeport. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ.

Bridgeport is home to the North Branch Bridgeport Public Library and the Challenger Learning Center as well as Went Field and Johnson Oak Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lafayette Shopping Plaza Shopping Center, Baldwin Plaza Shopping Center and Bayview Shopping Center.