Pearl River Community College

Occupational Therapy Assistant Program

Program Information

Location(s) of Program: Forrest County Center

Brief Description of Program: 20 months ACOTE accredited technical program for training Occupational Therapy Assistants

Essential Requirements of a person in this career field: The PRCC OTA Program faculties have specified the following nonacademic criteria (technical standards) which all students are expected to meet in order to participate in the OTA Program and professional practice.

  1. OBSERVATION: The student must be able to participate actively in all demonstrations, laboratory exercises, and clinical experiences in the professional program component and to assess and comprehend the condition of all patients assigned for examination and treatment.
  2. COMMUNICATIONS: The student must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients in order to elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity, and posture; assess non-verbal communications; and be able to effectively and efficiently transmit information to patients, fellow students, faculty and staff and all members of the health care team.
  3. MOTOR SKILLS: The student must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by appropriate therapeutic maneuvers; be able to perform basic tests; possess all skills necessary to carry out therapeutic procedures; be able to perform movements required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients.
  4. INTELLECTUAL/CONCEPTUAL INTEGRATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE ABILITIES: The student must be able to measure, calculate reason, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize. Problem solving, a critical skill demanded of all Allied Health Practitioners, requires all of these intellectual abilities.
  5. BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL ATTRIBUTES: The student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of the student’s intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities; attend to care of patients; and the development of a mature, sensitive, and effective relationship with patients. Students must also be able to tolerate taxing workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to a changing environment, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interest, and motivation are personal qualities which each student should possess.

Instructor Contact Information for the Program:

Possible Careers in this Program: Occupational Therapy Assistant; preparation for bridging to Registered Occupational Therapist

What a student can expect from a career in this field: Growing demand growth of 40%for Occupational Therapy personnel nationwide over next 10 years is projected. Strong potential for satisfying employment with good income and benefits.

Possible earnings of jobs in these career field: Present national average hourly wage is approximately $27/hr for OTAs and $39/hr for OTs. Recent trends have been toward increase in earnings.

Mission of Program: Consistent with the mission of Pearl River Community College, the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program is committed to providing a quality technical training program. The program strives for development of competent, diverse, and ethically responsible entry level occupational therapy assistant practitioners which meet the evolving demands of local communities, the OT profession, and society.

Goals of Program:

  1. PRCC’s OTA Program will prepare competent, entry-level graduates who will work under the direction of a registered occupational therapist and be employed in the role of occupational therapy assistants in a range of settings.
  2. PRCC’s OTA students will demonstrate practical knowledge and skills which are necessary for employment in entry-level positions in the workforce according to the Framework Curriculum.
  3. PRCC’s OTA students will report overall satisfaction with program instruction.
  4. PRCC’s OTA graduates will report strong vocational placements and satisfaction with their academic program.
  5. PRCC’s OTA graduates will pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) Exam.
  6. The PRCC OTA program will support the professional values of self-direction, professionalism, teamwork, community service, and life-long learning.