Occupational Therapy Aide

Program Outline

Enroll in Penn Foster Career School's Online Occupational Therapy Aide program and complete your training in as little as one month. Occupational therapy aides help patients improve their movement and ability to perform everyday tasks, as well as assist therapists and other personnel with office procedures.

Here's how it works
You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete this program.

Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons:

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal
The program goal for Penn Foster’s Occupational Therapy Aide program is to develop the skills and knowledge to obtain an entry-level position as a professional occupational therapy aide.

Program Outcomes
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Identify typical personal qualities held by successful occupational therapy aides, including empathy, knowledge of good customer service, and effective communication.
  • Identify typical professional responsibilities of occupational therapy aides, including assisting with activities of daily living, administrative duties, inventory control, and telephone etiquette.
  • Use appropriate medical terminology related to the body in order to communicate accurately with clients and supervisors.
  • Show understanding of the importance of a safe health care environment, including potential hazards and fall prevention, and the aide’s role in maintaining a clean, safe workplace.



Starting Your Program
In this course, you’ll develop the necessary skills to ensure your success in the program. Starting Your Program is designed to help you make a smooth transition to Penn Foster, including learning how to use all the tools and resources that are available to you, get help when you need it, understand the Code of Conduct, and improve your study skills and time management. The goal is to help you become a confident, independent learner.


  • Identify skills needed to be a confident and independent online learner.

Occupational Therapy Orientation
This course will introduce you to the history and purposes of occupational therapy, and it will explain common administrative and clinical tasks that occupational therapy aides may be expected to perform.


  • Identify the origins, roles, and responsibilities of occupational therapy team members.
  • Explain the aide’s role regarding administrative and clinical tasks.

Medical and Body Systems Terminology
This course will introduce you to the basics of medical terminology, and it will provide an overview of various body systems, discuss how these body systems work together, and describe common disorders associated with each system.


  • Define medical terms and their connection to human body regions and structures.
  • Explain various body systems and common body system disorders.

Additional Materials:

  • Online Resources: Access to MedlinePlus/Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary, mobile apps, and abbreviations guides

Activities of Daily Living and Adaptive Equipment
This course will discuss activities of daily living (ADLs), including ADLs common to each developmental stage, and it will describe adaptive equipment that can be used to help people perform these activities.


  • Describe activities of daily living (ADLs) as they relate to each developmental stage. 
  • Explain what adaptive equipment is and how it contributes to independent living.  

Therapy and Safety Skills
This course will examine different therapy treatments and the modalities used in those treatments. It will also describe the components of building positive relationships among the aide, patients, and others. Finally, the course will explain how safety applies to the aide in maintaining the facility and taking precautions for infection control.


  • Identify common therapeutic practices used in the occupational therapy clinic.
  • Analyze the importance of developing an effective customer relationship in the healthcare sector.
  • Analyze the role that safety plays in a healthcare setting.

Clinical Work Experience Option
This program includes an optional work experience component. Looking to your future, you’ll be provided with a Work Experience Option Supplement that can be used to help you find a position as a trainee in a medical facility.


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

Note: A High School Diploma or GED is required to enroll in this program.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.