Occupational Therapy Aide

Program Outline

Instruction Sets
Your program consists of four Instruction Sets designed to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills you'll use in your new career.

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 high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your 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.

Instruction Set 1

Introduction to Occupational Therapy
Brief history of occupational therapy; settings in which OT is practiced: hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, etc.; categories of OT personnel; educational requirements; members of the patient-care interdisciplinary team.

The Physical/Occupational Therapy Aide
Definition of OT aide’s role; education and training; job responsibilities; unskilled and skilled tasks, including clerical, inventory, treatment setup, direct patient care, therapeutic activities; supervision of the OT aide; OT Code of Ethics.

Instruction Set 2

Introduction to Medical Terminology
Definitions; anatomical positioning, directional terms, body regions; therapeutic terminology; common abbreviations; the musculoskeletal system.

Body Systems Terminology
Nervous, circulatory, and respiratory terminology.

Pronunciation CDs:
• Introduction to Terminology
• Body Systems

Instruction Set 3

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
Definition of ADL; self-care activities; homemaking activities; leisure activities; work activities, including on-site job evaluations; community re-entry activities; patient transfer techniques; driving; home safety.

Adaptive Equipment
Wheelchair components and care; ambulation devices; bathroom equipment; dressing equipment; feeding equipment; grooming equipment; transfer equipment; OT aide’s role in assisting with or modifying adaptive equipment.

Instruction Set 4

Therapeutic Treatment
Aide’s role in assisting with therapeutic treatment, including psychosocial skills; group interaction skills; cognitive, perceptual and sensory stimulation activities; fine and gross motor activities; range of motion and strengthening activities; aide’s role in diagnostic-related activities.

Customer Service
The patient relationship; patient rights; confidentiality; telephone and interpersonal skills; interacting with patients; problem solving and conflict resolution.

Workplace Health and Safety
Patient safety, including standard first aid, CPR, recognizing patient distress; personal safety, including wellness and proper body mechanics; environmental safety, including infection control, universal precautions; fire/disaster procedures.

Supplement: Clinical Work Experience Option

Graduation Set
(Sent to you when all program requirements and financial obligations have been met.)

Quick Reference to Physical Therapy (text)


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.

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