At a Glance:

Advisor:
Walker: Lisa Carruth

Lisa Carruth, Assistant Dean of Health Technologies; Program Director & Instructor of Occupational Therapy Assistant
Office: 6112b
Phone: 706-764-3846
Email:
Campus: Walker County Campus
Department: Health Technologies, Occupational Therapy

Credentials

M.S., St. Joseph's College of Maine; B.S., Medical College of Georgia


Website:
OTA

Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA3)

Offered at the Following Campus

  • Walker County Campus

Program Overview

(Not Accepting New Students Into Program At This Time)

The Occupational Therapy Assistant program is designed to train students to implement treatment procedures and plans for clients with limitations in occupational performance under the supervision of an occupational therapist per AOTA standards and State Regulations. Other occupational therapy assistant responsibilities include record keeping, and assistance with appropriate evaluation. The Occupational Therapy Assistant program meets the accreditation requirements of the American Occupational Therapy Association and program graduates may become certified by the National Board after passing the National certification Board examination before licensure by the State. The program provides learning opportunities which introduce, develop, and reinforce academic and occupational knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for job acquisition, retention, and advancement. Program graduates receive an Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate of Applied Technology degree.

All coursework in the OTA program must be satisfactorily completed in order to graduate. Only students who have completed the required coursework and received the A.A.S degree will be eligible to sit for the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination. After successful completion of this examination, the graduate will be a certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA). Most states, including Georgia, require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT certification examination. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure (ACOTE Accreditation Standards for an Educational Program for the OTA Standard A.4.13). Contact the Georgia Board of Occupational Therapy (478) 207-2440 and the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT), (301) 990-7979 for further information.

All level II fieldwork must be completed within 18 months of completion of academic preparation.

Accreditation: The Georgia Northwestern Technical College OTA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its Web address is http://www.acoteonline.org.  Graduates of the program will be eligible to apply to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapy assistant administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. Note that a felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the NBCOT certification examination or attain state licensure.

Entrance Dates: Beginning of any semester for pre-occupational curriculum. Fall semester for occupational curriculum.

Entrance Requirements

Age: 17 years old for entrance into Health Technology pre-occupational curriculum
         18 years old for entrance into Health Technology programs

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program-Specific Admission Requirements:
Selection for admission to the OTA program is based on a competitive admission point system which includes consideration of all pre-requisite course grades with added points for all courses completed at Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC), and the Psychological Services Bureau (PSB) Health Occupations Aptitude Test (HOAT) scores. A minimum of 30 hours of volunteer work in at least two different clinical sites and settings with registered occupational therapist (OTR) or certified occupational therapy assistant (COTA) supervision are also required. A positive recommendation must be received from the supervising OTR or COTA. Selection for entrance into the fall class will be made during the prior summer semester. An application to the OTA program (available in office 5200) must be completed and received during the final semester of completing pre-requisite courses for inclusion in that year’s applicant pool for the following fall semester. Applications received after this date will not be considered. By the end of the spring semester prior to selection, the applicants must have:

1) Official admission to GNTC and have declared OTA as your major;

2) Completion of all Learning Support courses;

3) Completion of required Biology courses within the last five years;

4) Submission of the OTA student application for the OTA program the final semester of completing pre-requisite courses;

5) Submission by December 31st of the year prior to desired acceptance, a minimum of 30 hours of volunteer work in at least two different clinical sites and settings with OTR or COTA supervision. A positive recommendation must be received from the supervising OTR or COTA;

6) Taken the Psychological Services Bureau (PSB) Health Occupations Aptitude Test (HOAT) entrance examination and scored at least 50th percentile or above in the vocational adjustment index. If after a third attempt at the entrance examination you have not achieved a score of at least 50 percent, you will need to make an appointment with your advisor to discuss alternatives;

7) Achieved a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 calculated for the program required pre-requisite courses completed (the highest grade will be included in the calculation if a course has been repeated);

8) Be able to meet the technical standards listed under "Essential Requirements for OTA" and "Physical and Clinical Requirements".

OTA Selection Process Students who submitted an OTA application to the Division secretary by the deadline will receive a letter notifying them of the dates, times, location, and cost of the PBS HOAT entrance exam. Should a student register for the exam and not take it on the assigned date, the cost of the exam will be forfeited. That student will not be considered for selection. When exam results are received and spring quarter grades have been posted, the selection process will be finalized using a competitive admission point system which includes consideration of all pre-requisite course grades with added points for all courses completed at GNTC, and the PSB HOAT scores. Students will be officially notified by letter that they are accepted or not accepted. Students who are not accepted will have the opportunity to be considered for the next year’s class. They will have an opportunity to retest the following year if they so desire or they may keep their current scores. Students who retest must pay an additional exam fee.

Once students are selected for admission to the OTA program, they must attend a mandatory orientation session. The dates and times will be included in the acceptance letter. During the orientation, the students will receive additional information about program requirements. This will include but is not limited to:

1) American Heart Association CPR certification for the Healthcare Provider,

2) Student liability insurance,

3) Personal health history,

4) Physical assessment by a healthcare provider,

5) Record of immunizations and titers,

6) Health Stream programs,

7) OTA Program requirements,

8) National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) examination.

Upon admission to the program, students must also have a mandatory background check and a mandatory annual random drug screen performed at students’ expense.

 

Essential Skill Requirements:
In order to complete the OTA program at the college, students will be required to meet the essential skill requirements of the program described below:
1) Be able to read and interpret documentation;
2) Be able to follow policies and procedures required in work setting and field work setting;
3) Be aware of personal performance and identify need of supervision;
4) Be physically capable of lifting, transferring, and moving patients, equipment, etc.;
5) Demonstrate independent skills without need of constant supervision;
6) Demonstrate and maintain professional behavior;
7) Demonstrate warmth and patience to ensure trust and respect from patients, colleagues, etc.;
8) Be able to use imagination and ingenuity in adapting to meet the environmental needs of others;
9) Be flexible and willing to change as necessary to meet the environmental needs of others.


Physical and Clinical Requirements: Students will be involved in field work experiences in various settings including hospitals, long term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, home health, school systems, and mental health settings. Students may be exposed to communicable diseases and incur strains due to lifting, transferring, and moving patients. Students may also be exposed to body fluids and blood. A moderate amount of strength is needed for lifting and transferring patients, as well as assisting patients with his or her treatments. The job can be tiring due to frequent stooping, kneeling, reaching, standing, sitting, and/or walking. Manual dexterity is needed for manipulation of treatment equipment. The ability to communicate and express ideas by spoken words and written expression is required. There may be added mental and physical stress in this Health Technology field.

Transfer Students: Students transferring from regionally accredited colleges must meet all of Georgia Northwestern’s general and OTA program-specific admission requirements. Transferring students will not be given priority over currently enrolled or returning students. In addition:
1) Transfer students must be in good standing at his or her previous institution;
2) Transfer students must submit a letter of recommendation from a professor at his or her previous institution;
3) Transfer students may be required to document proficiency or repeat occupational therapy courses taken more than three years prior to admission to the OTA program;
4) Transfer students may be required to document proficiency or repeat science courses taken more than three years prior to admission to the OTA program;
5) Only courses with a grade of “C” or better will be acceptable;
6) Prior OTA coursework will be evaluated for compatibility with Georgia Northwestern OTA curriculum.

Retention:
1) OTA students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 to remain in the program;
2) OTA students must maintain a “C” (70 or higher) grade in each course including fieldwork in order to progress to the next quarter of the OTA program;
3) OTA students must attain a 70% test average in all OTA courses;
4) OTA students must follow all policies and procedures outlined in the OTA Student Handbook;
5) OTA students must maintain CPR certification;
6) OTA students must maintain liability insurance.

Readmission:
1) Only one readmission into the OTA program is permitted;
2) After an unsuccessful OTA course, students are required to wait until that OTA course is taught again;
3) Students withdrawing or failing an OTA course and who are unable to complete the OTA course the next time the course is offered must be readmitted to the OTA Program and repeat all OTA coursework;
4) Students seeking readmission must meet all current admission requirements;
5) Classroom and fieldwork sites must be available;
6) Students must undergo a repeat drug screen during the quarter of readmission;
7) Students seeking readmission must be in good standing with the college and the OTA program, i.e., no disciplinary or academic misconduct on record;
8) Students seeking readmission must notify the OTA faculty;
9) Students seeking readmission must fulfill specific requirements, including but not limited to, repeating OTA course, as directed by the OTA faculty and/or dean of Health Technologies.

Specific Fieldwork Requirements:
1) Submit the results of a physical examination one month prior to Level I Fieldwork, which will include immunizations, titers, TB skin test, and a dental assessment;
2) Documentation of CPR certification prior to Level I Fieldwork;
3) Documentation of Liability insurance paid through Georgia Northwestern prior to Level I Fieldwork;
4) Completion of Health Stream, JCAHO (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organization) requirement prior to Level I Fieldwork;
5) Completion of background check as required by Georgia Northwestern prior to Level I Fieldwork;
6) Clean drug screen test results as required by Georgia Northwestern prior to Level I Fieldwork. A random drug screen may be required any time a student’s behavior warrants.

 

Course Overview

Credit Hours
Pre-Occupational Curriculum (28 - 29 hours)
Introduces the fundamental concepts, terminology, and operations necessary to use computers. Emphasis is placed on basic functions and familiarity with computer use. Topics include an introduction to computer terminology, the Windows environment, Internet and email, word processing software, spreadsheet software, database software, and presentation software.
Introduces the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Emphasis is placed on the development of a systemic perspective of anatomical structures and physiological processes. Topics include body organization, cell structure and functions, tissue classifications, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, and nervous and sensory systems.
Selected laboratory exercises paralleling the topics in BIOL 2113. the laboratory exercises for this course include body organization, cell structure and functions, tissue classificatins, integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, and nervous snesory systems.
Continues the study of the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Topics include the endocrine system, cardiovascular system, blood and lymphatic system, immune system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary system,and reproductive system.
Selected laboratory exercises paralleling the topics in BIOL 2114. The laboratory exercises for this course include the endocrine system, cardiovascular system, blood and lymphatic system, immunie system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary system, and reporductive system.
Explores the analysis of literature and articles about issues in the humanities and in society. Students practice various modes of writing, ranging from exposition to argumentation and persuasion. The course includes a review of standard grammatical and stylistic usage in proofreading and editing. An introduction to library resources lays the foundation for research. Topics include writing analysis and practice, revision, and research. Students write a research paper using library resources and using a formatting and documentation style appropriate to the purpose and audience.
MATH
1111
3
Emphasizes techniques of problem solving using algebraic concepts. Topics include fundamental concepts of algebra, equations and inequalities, functions and graphs, and systems of equations; optional topics include sequences, series, and probability or analytic geometry.
Introduces the major fields of contemporary psychology. Emphasis is on fundamental principles of psychology as a science. Topics include research design, the organization and operation of the nervous system, sensation and perception, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, thinking and intelligence, lifespan development, personality, psychopathology and interventions, stress and health, and social psychology.
SPCH
1101
3
Introduces the student to the fundamentals of oral communication. Topics include selection and organization of materials, preparation and delivery of individual and group presentations, analysis of ideas presented by others, and professionalism.
XXX
xxx
Humanities/Fine Arts Elective
3
and one of the following (2 - 3 hours)
Introduces the elements of medical terminology. Emphasis is placed on building familiarity with medical words through knowledge of roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Topics include: origins (roots, prefixes, and suffixes), word building, abbreviations and symbols, and terminology related to the human anatomy.
Introduces the structure and function of the human body including medical terminology. Topics covered include information which will provide the medical office assistant with the knowledge needed to communicate with office staff, physicians, and patients and to assist in completion of medical reports generated in the medical office. Topics include: body structures, body functions, and medical terminology.
Occupational Curriculum (66 hours)
3
Emphasizes the nature and causes of various forms of abnormal behavior. Topics include historical and contemporary approaches to psychopathology; approaches to clinical assessment and diagnosis; understanding and defining classifications of psychological disorders; and etiology and treatment considerations.
Explores the sociological analysis of society, its culture, and structure. Sociology is presented as a science with emphasis placed on its methodology and theoretical foundations. Topics include basic sociological concepts, socialization, social interaction and culture, social groups and institutions, deviance and social control, social stratification, social change, and marriage and family.
Explains the philosophy and history of occupational therapy and its relationship to other health care providers. Topics include: foundations, history, and philosophical base of the profession and its personnel; role of OTA within health care team role of OTA within various practice sites; definition of OT; introduction to AOTA code of ethics and standards of practice; introduction to OT theories, models of practice, and frames of reference; introduction to the OT Practice Framework Domain and Process; and role delineation.
Introduces the range of responses and reactions to human growth, and the activities to enhance body function. Topics include: normal growth and development patterns across life span, and occupational therapy principles which emphasize the use of purposeful activities and occupations to promote health and prevent disease.
3
Studies human tasks and activities across the developmental life span. Through learning and teaching occupations, students will utilize therapeutic self, group and dyadic interaction to analyze, grade and adapt purposeful activities and occupations to foster occupational performance within each stage of life. Topics include: activity analysis of daily living work and play/leisure, performance and teaching of selected life, tasks and activities, therapeutic use of self, introduction to group and dyadic interaction, OT practice framework domain and process, grading and adapting purposeful activity (occupational) for therapeutic interaction.
Overview of the etiology, clinical course, prognosis, and prevention of disease processes and traumatic injuries. Includes problems associated with individuals and family who have difficulty with social cultural expectations. Emphasis is on the effect of such conditions on occupational performance and ways to promote health. Topics include: introduction to disease processes, diseases and traumatic injuries of body systems, occupational performance problems related to various socio-cultural environments, promotion of health prevention of injury and disease for quality of life and well being.
Introduces the phenomenon of human motion within the context of occupational performance. Topics include: introduction to movement, principles of gravity and basic biomechanics and their effect on movement, survey of the skeletal system, articular system, nervous system, and muscular system, and analysis of movement while performing functional activities.
Studies occupational therapy to service recipients for the prevention or remediation of psychosocial dysfunction or maintenance of mental health. Introduces the psychiatric disorders in different stages of human life. Encompasses OT concepts and principles in psychosocial dysfunctions which emphasize purposeful activity and role function. Topics include: psychosocial conditions commonly referred to occupational therapy; screening, evaluation, and standardized procedures for psychosocial OT; participation in the development of the OT intervention plan; collaboration with OTR on intervention techniques, implementation, reevaluation and intervention termination; and psychosocial dysfunction treatment intervention documentation procedure.
Focuses on intervention of the psychiatric disorders occurring in different stages of human life through practical methods. Topics include: assistance with data collection which includes administering standardized and nonstandardized tests, contribution to the formation of OT goals and objectives on evaluation, use of self and dyadic and group interaction, and provision of the therapeutic intervention related to occupational performance areas in psychosocial dysfunction.
OCTA
2040
4
Covers childhood to early adulthood occupational therapy related issues, including developmental disabilities. Topics include: service delivery models, OT practice framework domain process, pediatric conditions commonly referred to OT, therapeutic intervention with the pediatric population. Emphasizes the important of patient, family/significant other/caregiver education and documentation to ensure reimbursement in today*s healthcare environment.
4
Studies occupational therapy to service recipients for the prevention or remediation of physical dysfunction or maintenance of quality of life. Introduces physical dysfunction in different stages of human life. Encompasses OT concepts and principles in physical dysfunctions which emphasize purposeful activity and role function. Topics include: physical conditions commonly referred to occupational therapy; screening, evaluation, and standardized procedures for physical dysfunction intervention; participation in the development of the OT intervention plan; collaboration with OTR on intervention, implementation, reevaluation and intervention termination; and physical dysfunction intervention documentation procedure. Focuses on OT intervention and evaluation principles through practical applications. Topics include: assistance with data collection and documentation which includes administering standardized and nonstandardized tests and assessment tools appropriate to the role of OTA in the practice area of physical dysfunction, contribution to the formation of OT goals and objectives on evaluation, use of self and dyadic and group interaction, and provision of the therapeutic intervention elated to occupational performance areas in physical dysfunction.
Focuses on OT intervention and evaluation principles through practical applications. Topics include: assistance with data collection which includes administering standardized and nonstandardized tests, contribution to the formation of OT goals and objectives on evaluation, use of self and dyadic and group interaction, and provision of the therapeutic intervention related to occupational performance areas in physical dysfunction.
OCTA
2090
4
Covers occupational therapy related geriatric issues. Topics include: Service delivery models, OT practice framework domain and process, geriatric conditions commonly referred to OT, therapeutic intervention with the geriatric population. Emphasizes the importance of patient, family/significant other/caregiver education and documentation to ensure reimbursement in today*s healthcare environment.
Teaches the roles and responsibilities in the administration of occupational therapy services. Topics include: assistance with the management of departmental operations; development of values, attitudes, and behaviors congruent with OT standards and ethics; the role of OTA in occupational therapy, research publication, and program evaluation; supervisory requirements; certification and licensure; reimbursement issues; personnel training and supervision; continued learning; and promotion of the Occupational Therapy profession; and job search skills. Resources for the life long learning and professional support are provided and promoted; including job finding skills such as interviewing and negotiation Preparation for the national certification examination is provided as well as preparation for Level II fieldwork.
Occupational Therapy issues that promote human quality of life are addressed through class, demonstration, and practical activities. Topics include: applications of therapeutic adaptation for accomplishing purposeful activities including family training, community programming, basic orthotics and prosthetics, assistive devices, equipment, and other OT technologies utilization of safety procedures; and assistance with planning and implementation of group and individual programs to promote health, function, and quality of life.
Provides the opportunity to practice occupational therapy for eight weeks in a supervised health care facility. Topics include: application of learned skills through presentation of a case study and/or special project, and supervised clinical applications of principles learned in the curriculum and appropriate to the learning needs of the student.
Provides the opportunity to practice occupational therapy for eight weeks in a supervised health care facility. Topics include: application of learned skills through presentation of a case study and/or special project, and supervised clinical applications of principles learned in the curriculum and appropriate to the learning needs of the student