Students of the Occupational Therapy Assistant program will learn from Occupational Therapists who work in the field; evening and weekend class options are available.
Occupational Therapy Assistants administer rehabilitation treatments to patients under the direction of an Occupational Therapist. Work settings include hospitals, private rehabilitation clinics, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, retirement homes, sports medicine clinics, community health care agencies, and other medical settings. Graduates of this program may also become certified as a Personal Training Specialist and pursue a career as a Personal Trainer providing one-on-one coaching or working in a fitness facility.
Some career and education options may require advanced degrees, further training or experience.
Employers Who Have Hired triOS Grads
Medrehab Group Inc.
Back to Normal Medical Centre
Total Care Management
Great Lakes Physiotherapy
*Employment Rate based on 2019 contactable triOS graduates employed in a related field.
NOC Code: 3414 - **Wage data rounded down to the nearest dollar. Local (or regional) income may vary. Last updated in May, 2021.
Is your goal to be able to work at various healthcare facilities? Do you want to help patients live a comfortable life? If you’re aiming to become a healthcare professional, then the Occupational Therapy Assistant program is just what you need to get started.
Learn therapeutic techniques for children, older individuals, and mental health patients; gain in-depth knowledge on communication disorders and group interventions. You will gain practical knowledge in the field to help you succeed in any given circumstance, while on the job.
The program also emphasizes the communication, interpersonal, and reflective practice skills required to become lifelong learners and effective members of the healthcare team.
Students enrolled in the program receive:
Education from occupational therapists who work in the field;
Free subscriptions to Microsoft Office and Windows.
Advanced Interpersonal and Communication Skills
This course is designed to give students the opportunity to practice the interpersonal and communication skills required to work effectively in a health care team. Through an experiential learning approach, students practice the following skills: leading teamwork, establishing team norms, setting team goals, resolving conflicts, building group cohesion, problem solving, and evaluating team performance. Engagement in and facilitation of effective verbal and nonverbal communication is explored.
This course provides students with an overview of major speech and language problems that can impair the rehabilitation client's ability to communicate effectively. Students learn strategies to improve interactions with clients with communication disorders, and are introduced to common assistive communication devices. The course also provides students with a basic understanding of swallowing and swallowing disorders.
Career Planning & Preparation - Level 1
This module introduces tools for planning and preparing for a successful job search, so that students can maintain a career-focused approach throughout their education program. Students will learn how to research opportunities and network for industry contacts, and use appropriate etiquette when communicating with prospective employers. Students will identify their personal skills, values and preferences for the workplace, begin preparation of a professional resume, cover letter, thank you note and references. Class discussions on various self-management topics introduced in Student Success Strategies will round out this module, which is a pre-requisite for Career Planning and Preparation – Level 2.
Career Planning & Preparation - Level 2
This module continues to build on the concepts and skills introduced in Career Planning and Preparation - Level I. Students will learn how to conduct an effective job search and identify various methods of applying for work with today’s technology. Students will create a personal list of “Top Employers” and target current industry opportunities, while finalizing their professional resume, portfolio and career correspondence. Students will learn to identify the different types and forms of interviews, practice responding to typical questions, and practice follow-up, evaluation and negotiation techniques they can use to ensure success. Self-management topics from Career Planning and Preparation - Level I will be reviewed, with a focus towards on-the-job success in both learner placements and post-graduate employment.
Data Collection for Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Assistants
This course introduces students to data collection in physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Students will learn to safely and effectively apply a range of tests and outcome measures and will learn to accurately interpret, record and report results.
Developmental Psychology and Functional Development across the Lifespan
This subject introduces students to human development from birth to old age, including cognitive, social, emotional and motor development. The purpose of this course is to help students become familiar with the “normal” changes that occur across the lifespan, so they will be able to distinguish between normal developmental changes and those that are pathological in nature. In addition, this course will help students develop a more holistic view of the clients they will be working with, as well as gain insight into the developmental changes in their own lives.
Digital Literacy for Professionals
This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts and principles of learning and working in a digital environment. This course will cover the following elements: using devices and handling information, creating and editing information, communicating and collaborating, and being safe and responsible online.
Introduction to Occupational Therapy
This course introduces the student to the field of occupational therapy, with a focus on the role of the OT and OTA within clinical practice. Client-centred principles are explained and the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance and Engagement is applied to daily activities. The code of ethics and standards that guide occupational therapy practice in Ontario are also examined. An overview of assessment and intervention as it applies to occupational therapy for cognitive and physical dysfunction is presented.
Introduction to Rehabilitation and Interpersonal Skills
This course introduces the student to the field of physiotherapy within the Canadian and Ontario healthcare systems. The course examines the role of the PT and the PTA within the healthcare team, discusses ethical and legal issues in physiotherapy, and examines the principles of cultural competence. The course also introduces students to effective verbal, nonverbal and written communication strategies. Several topics discussed in this course apply to OTA practice such as ethics, communication skills, cultural competence and professionalism.
Mental Health Illness and Disability
This course provides an overview of physiotherapy practice in mental health. Students will become familiar with major mental health disorders and the role of physiotherapy in the management of these illnesses. Through role play activities, students will practice strategies to interact effectively and sensitively with clients with mental health concerns, including responding appropriately to mental health emergencies. In addition, through group presentations, students will discuss the appropriate use of relaxation exercises in physiotherapy and practice administering these techniques.
OTA Therapeutic Techniques for Children
This course prepares students to enable engagement in meaningful activities of daily living with children and adolescents. Topics covered include typical and atypical development, developmental theories, diagnoses related to pediatrics, assessment tools, and interventions for children and adolescents regarding self-care, productivity and leisure. The concept of family-centred care is applied to the occupational therapy process. The role of the OTA in understanding and contributing to the occupational therapy plan, and in supporting the OT in service delivery is explored.
Group Intervention in Occupational Therapy
This course prepares students to assist in the design and delivery of group treatment programs in occupational therapy. Through interactive labs, students apply the principles of group intervention directly to their own experience, learn how to lead an occupational therapy group, and realize the potential benefits and challenges of group intervention. The stages of group development as well as various frames of reference related to group intervention are examined. Students also have the opportunity to write a group protocol for a client population of their choosing.
OTA Therapeutic Techniques in Mental Health
In this course, students build on previous coursework by focusing on therapeutic use of self, activity and environment, as it applies to working with clients with psychiatric disorders. Topics covered include diagnoses and medication related to mental illness, and interventions with clients regarding performance of daily activities, education, work, leisure, and social participation. Students develop the skills needed to perform activity analysis, and to describe and respond to mental health symptoms.
OTA Therapeutic Techniques for Older Adults
This course prepares students to enable engagement in occupation with older adults. Topics covered include health promotion, age related disease processes, cultural diversity, splinting, seating systems, wheelchair mobility, and working with caregivers. Students develop skills to address physical and cognitive challenges that impact daily function in older adults. The role of the OTA in safely and efficiently implementing assigned service components within the occupational therapy process is examined. Students also apply evidence-informed research to occupational therapy intervention.
Basic Patient Care, Functional Movement and Rehabilitation
This course provides students with the basic knowledge and skills required to safely, effectively and efficiently implement interventions assigned by the physiotherapist or occupational therapist. The course begins with a review of the role of the PTA/OTA, an overview of basic medical terminology, and an introduction to reflective practice. This is followed by training in infection control, goniometry, and manual muscle testing. The rest of the course focuses on fundamental client care techniques including: posture and body mechanics, positioning and draping, basic bed mobility skills and transfer techniques, safe and effective use of gait aids, and therapeutic exercise.
This course will prepare students to develop personal fitness programs for low risk clients. Students will learn how to determine exercise risk and gather information on current fitness level. They will use this information to incorporate cardiovascular exercise, resistance training, and stretching into a safe and effective exercise program.
PTA/OTA Administration and Program Support
The main purposes of this course are to prepare students to a) manage administrative activities that support effective service delivery, b) support the supervising therapist in applying an evidence-informed approach in their services, and c) engage in self-directed life long learning through the development of a specific learning plan. Students will practice administrative tasks such as scheduling and billing clients, documenting workload statistics, facilitating the use of equipment, supplies and inventory records, and searching for evidence regarding a clinical question. They will also have the opportunity to reflect on their own learning needs and develop a specific learning plan. In addition, in the context of effective client reception and scheduling, students will practice using a variety of strategies to prevent and resolve conflict.
Human Anatomy, Physiology, Diseases/Disorders
This course is designed to introduce the student to the structures and functions of the human body, with emphasis on the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, as they pertain to human movement, functional kinesiology, and rehabilitation. Disorders of the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory systems encountered in physiotherapy and occupational therapy are discussed. The course also provides an overview of the other systems of the body. Correct anatomical, medical and scientific terminology are taught throughout the course.
Student Success Strategies
This course stresses the importance of developing non-technical skills to enhance personal, academic and career success. This includes understanding learning styles and honing practical study skills, such as memory, reading, note- and test-taking techniques. Personal exercises will focus on teamwork, decision making and problem solving skills, setting goals and maintaining a positive attitude techniques for managing change, stress and conflict will also be explored.
PTA Therapeutic Techniques 3 - Cardiac, Neurological, Respiratory and Specialty Areas
This course prepares students to safely, effectively and efficiently implement interventions assigned by the physiotherapist to improve the mobility, health and well-being of clients with neurological, cardiac or respiratory conditions. The course emphasizes work with adults, but also addresses common pediatric conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida and cystic fibrosis. In addition, the course provides students with the basic knowledge and skills needed to work in specialty areas such as burns and vestibular rehabilitation.
This course prepares students to safely, effectively and efficiently apply modalities and physical agents. Students learn to ensure client safety by screening for contraindications and precautions and by participating in the maintenance and care of equipment. In addition, through daily lab work and a case study assignment, students integrate and apply the knowledge and skills developed in previous coursework, such as those related to communication skills and interprofessional collaboration.
PTA Therapeutic Techniques 1 - Musculoskeletal
This course prepares students to safely, effectively and efficiently implement interventions assigned by the physiotherapist to treat common musculoskeletal disorders. Students build on previous coursework to develop a deeper understanding of musculoskeletal pathologies and the use of therapeutic exercise and other interventions to support clients’ function and mobility. In addition, through daily lab work and a challenging case study assignment, students integrate and apply the knowledge and skills developed in previous coursework such as those related to communication skills, teamwork, client-centered care and evidence-informed practice.
Physiotherapy Assistant diploma from triOS College or PCC/College of Applied Arts and Technology
If you haven’t completed a high school diploma, you will be required to pass an Academic Achievement Assessment exam, as well as a program-specific entrance assessment.
Demonstrated fluency in English (oral and written)
High school graduation diploma, or Mature Student Status (for more information please refer to the Program Overview at the top of this page or speak to your Education Consultant)
Take a quick and easy quiz to find out more about yourself, your goals, and identify your strengths and social style. This quiz gives you suggestions for what career areas you might consider based on your likes and preferences. Give it a try now!
Going to triOS has been one of the best things I have ever done. It has helped me with my career so much. I graduated with distinction and got hired at my internship. Thank you to the fantastic teachers at triOS. If I can do it so can you!!