Skip to content

Physiotherapist Assistant and Occupational Therapist Assistant

Home » Faculty of Health and Personal Care » Physiotherapist Assistant and Occupational Therapist Assistant
Duration: 56 weeks plus 500 hour work term. Click here for specific start dates.
Faculty: Health & Personal Care
Certification: Diploma of Health and Human Sciences
Entrance Requirements: Please click here

Program Description

Are you interested in helping clients reduce pain, recover mobility, regain skills or help clients develop new skills? If you are considering the health care field, enjoy working with people and would like a career that gets you moving around, this might be the program for you!

The Physiotherapist Assistant and Occupational Therapist Assistant Program prepares graduates for entry level Physiotherapist Assistant and Occupational Therapist Assistant positions in acute care, community hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, mental health facilities, long-term care facilities, schools, and private practice. Sometimes services are provided in clients’ homes. Clients may seek physiotherapy or occupational therapy services for issues due to chronic diseases, physical injuries, or mental health issues, to name a few.

PTA/OTAs work as members of a health care team, under the supervision of Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists. As part of this team, PTA/OTAs are an integral part of the safe and effective delivery of a carefully defined treatment plan for their clients. Occupational Therapists also provide task assignment to other health care team members, including kinesiologists, parents, and teachers. To be effective and cooperative members of the health care team, professionalism and strong communication skills are essential for the PTA/OTA.

The role of the PTA/OTA will vary depending on the setting and direction provided by the registered therapist; as well, specific circumstances will determine whether PTA/OTAs will work with individuals, families, or groups in order to provide the optimum results for the individuals in their care.

Students will enhance their skills during a work term under the guidance of a provincially registered therapist.

Program Courses

  • Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Disease/Disorders
  • Intro. to Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation, and Interpersonal Skills
  • Medical Terminology for PTA/OTA
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Clinical Administration and Program Support
  • Basic Patient Care, Functional Movement and Rehabilitation
  • Developmental Psychology and Functional Development Across the Lifespan
  • Communication Skills
  • PTA Therapeutic Techniques: Modalities and Physical Agents
  • PTA Therapeutic Techniques: Musculoskeletal
  • PTA Therapeutic Techniques: Neurological Management and Specialty Areas
  • PTA Therapeutic Techniques: Cardiac, Respiratory Management and Specialty Areas
  • Student Success
  • Seniors: The Older Adult
  • Client Relations
  • Professionalism in Healthcare
  • Introduction to Computers
  • Customer Service Excellence
  • Introduction to Occupational Therapy
  • Advanced Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • OTA Therapeutic Techniques for Children
  • OTA Therapeutic Techniques for Mental Health
  • Communication Disorders
  • Psychology of Addictions for Therapist Assistants
  • Human Sexuality for Therapist Assistants
  • OTA Therapeutic Techniques for Adults
  • Group Intervention in Occupational Therapy

Employment Opportunities

Due to an increased demand for rehabilitative services, licensed Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists may employ and oversee PTA/OTA’s to ensure client needs are met. A PTA/OTA may find employment in a variety of environments such as acute care, community hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, mental health facilities, long-term care facilities, schools, and private practice. Sometimes services are provided in clients’ homes.

Entrance Requirements

High School Graduates or equivalents are eligible for admission to the PTA/OTA program. Additionally, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

Academic Qualifications:

High School Graduation Certificate with a 60% overall average in the following (or ABE equivalent):

  1. Level III English (minimum 60% for academic; minimum 50% for advanced)
  2. Level III Mathematics (minimum 60% for academic; minimum 50% for advanced)
  3. Level III Science (Biology, Physics, Chemistry, or Earth Systems)
  4. Two elective credits at the 3000 level (minimum 60%)

Non-academic Qualifications:

Provide a 250 – 400 word essay on the work environment and role of a PTA/OTA.

Recommended opportunities for exposure to the field:

  1. Volunteer experience in an environment where a PTA/OTA would work (e.g. Gathering Place; Autism Society; Easter Seals; After school program; Hospital; etc.)
  2. Job shadowing a physiotherapist or occupational therapist

Individuals considering a career as a PTA/OTA should enjoy working with people, be compassionate, patient and possess the ability to listen.

Please note that due to the nature of this profession, OTAs & PTAs are required to tolerate regular physical activity during the course of their work day. Your scope of practice involves your ability to lift and transfer clients and move equipment. As such, an OTA & PTA needs to be in good overall health. It is recommended that applicants have a high level of fitness when entering the program. If you have any health related issues, it is highly recommended that you contact the program coordinator to ensure you are aware of the requirements of the program and the scope of practice of an OTA & PTA, and to discuss any impact this may have on your ability to fully participate in the learning throughout this program.

Students must complete an application form and provide a copy of High School, Adult Basic Education, or GED results. Applicants who do not meet the above requirements will require upgrading through Adult Basic Education prior to admission.

Special Entrance Requirements

Certificate of Conduct and Vulnerable Sector Check: Students must acquire a Certificate of Conduct and Vulnerable Sector Check for admission into this program. Students are solely accountable for any offences not uncovered by the investigation which may preclude the student from subsequent work terms or employment.

Program Requirement

Immunization: Students must submit a completed immunization review form for work term placements. Students will be responsible for completing the immunization review form and submitting to the Registrar’s Office of Academy Canada by the end of their first semester of study (with the exception of immunizations that require multiple test periods which may be in progress). Non-compliance with this requirement could result in the student’s inability to participate in the work term practicum component of this program which is also a required element for successful program completion.

Work Term

There is a 500-hour unpaid work term and students should note that travel within the province may be required. Please note that work term hosts reserve the right to request updated and/or additional documentation prior to field placement. Non-compliance with this requirement could result in the student’s inability to participate in the work term component of this program which is also a required element for successful program completion.

Request Info

*Important Note: If you are having difficulty submitting this form or do not receive an email confirming your submission, please call us at 1.800.561.8000 or email us at info@academycanada.com

Wall of Fame

Add Some Spice To Your Career

Academy Canada Cook (Pre-Employment) Instructor, Bernie Ann Ezekiel, taught at our Harding Road Campus in St. John’s since 2010. During that time, the Red Seal-Certified Chef has taught a wide range of…

Read More
Scroll To Top