Career and Education Opportunities for Occupational Therapy Assistants in Orlando, Florida
If you want to be an occupational therapy assistant, the Orlando, Florida area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 1,170 people are currently employed as occupational therapy assistants in Florida. By 2016, this is expected to grow 25% to 1,450 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. Occupational therapy assistants generally assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures.
The income of an occupational therapy assistant is about $27 hourly or $57,010 annually on average in Florida. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $23 per hour or $48,230 annually on average. Incomes for occupational therapy assistants are better than in the overall category of Occupational Therapy in Florida, and better than the overall Occupational Therapy category nationally. Occupational therapy assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: independent living specialist, physical therapist assistant , and rehabilitation assistant.
There are fifty schools of higher education in the Orlando area, including two within twenty-five miles of Orlando where you can get a degree to start your career as an occupational therapy assistant. Occupational therapy assistants usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so 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
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
Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences - Orlando, FL
Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences, 671 Winyah Drive, Orlando, FL 32803. Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences is a small college located in Orlando, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,351 students and an admission rate of 89%. Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences has an associate's degree program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated eighteen students in 2008.
Polk Community College - Winter Haven, FL
Polk Community College, 999 Avenue H NE, Winter Haven, FL 33881-4299. Polk Community College is a medium sized college located in Winter Haven, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,516 students. Polk Community College has an associate's degree program in Occupational Therapist Assistant which graduated twelve students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Orlando, Florida
Orlando is situated in Orange County, Florida. It has a population of over 230,519, which has grown by 24.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Orlando, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Orlando are valued at $217,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred forty-eight new homes were built in Orlando, down from six hundred twenty-two the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Orlando are accommodation and food services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and arts, entertainment, and recreation. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 28.2% of Orlando residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.3%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Orlando is 11.1%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.
The percentage of Orlando residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of Scientology of Orlando, Church of the Holy Spirit Episcopal and Metropolitan Community Church-Joy are some of the churches located in Orlando. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Orlando is home to the Dubsdread Country Club and the Conway Center as well as Mayor Carl Langford Park and Sunshine Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake Conway Woods Shopping Center, Colonial Plaza Mall and Coytown Shopping Center. Visitors to Orlando can choose from Blue Nile Hotel Liquidators, Clarion Hotel Universal and Buena Vista Suites for temporary stays in the area.