Occupational Therapist Assistants and Physiotherapist Assistants work with registered occupational therapists and physiotherapists to enable clients to cope with their limitations in movement, daily function, activity and/or occupational performance, whether temporary or permanent.
With ever-increasing numbers of aging people requiring assistance to continue a full life, the need has never been greater for occupational therapists(OTs), physiotherapists (PTs) and their assistants. While a great deal of work these days is with seniors, there's also much to be done with those recovering from surgery, health conditions such as cancer or stroke, and chronic conditions such as arthritis. You can help people get back into their lives - as an Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Therapist Assistant.
As an OTA and PTA, you'll help awaken people's physical potential - and learn more about yourself in the process. Throughout the deliberately broad-based four-semester program, you'll learn how to assist clients to achieve their health goals.
Rather than focus your studies exclusively on the occupational therapy or physical therapy streams, you will develop the ability to work with both professions.
The Occupational Therapist Assistant And Physiotherapist Assistant Program at Sir Sandford Fleming College has been accredited by the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program (OTA & PTA EAP) in collaboration with Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC) and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). The status of Accreditation was granted to the program on April 30, 2014 for the period until April 30, 2020.
"Two graduates of the program work in our clinic, enabling us to dramatically increase our efficiency. With these assistants as part of the team, our Physiotherapists can delegate prescribed treatments and programs. This allows us more time for manual techniques, monitoring individual exercise programs and treatment planning."
Brenda Wilson-Rupay, B.H.Sc. P.T.
Lindsay Physiotherapy Services, Lindsay, Ontario
Why Choose Fleming
Fleming offers a two-year program where you'll get cross-training in both occupational and physical therapy. Graduates will be critical thinkers with demonstrated problem solving abilities, strong interpersonal and communication skills and will possess a solid foundation in relevant health sciences.
St. Joseph's at Fleming
St. Joseph's at Fleming is the first long-term care facility built on a college or university campus. Students from more than 20 programs participate in clinical field practice, applied research, and volunteer initiatives within or associated with this facility.
Field experience is an integral aspect of the OTA & PTA program and is highly valued by students as they welcome the opportunity to integrate in-class studies with hands-on experience. Students are assigned to a variety of clinical settings throughout second, third and fourth semester. Students, with the assistance of a faculty member, arrange their final six week culminating experience. Fleming staff is committed to surpassing national accreditation standards by ensuring that students accumulate 540 clinical hours, with no less than 30% of these hours being in one discipline.
3 weeks prior to the first clinical experience, all OTA &PTA students MUST present the following Non Academic Field Requirements:
- A current Standard First Aid Certificate
- A CPR Level C or HCP Certificate (issued within 1 year of the clinical placement date)
- A Police Record Check, including the Vulnerable Sector Screening (Police Checks are considered valid for a year from issue date)
Is this You?
As with other health-care professions, OT and PT Assistants have to be compassionate, empathetic, and have a genuine concern for people. These are other traits and skills that will help you in the program and your future career:
- emotional maturity
- respect for diversity (age, gender, ethnicity)
- ability to maintain boundaries
- problem solving ability
- strong interpersonal skills
- good organizational and communication skills
- ability/willingness to work long hours
Students will be required to acquire CPR (C level) and Standard First Aid Certification prior to classes.
You'll work as a OTA and/or PTA for such healthcare providers as:
- acute care general hospitals
- rehabilitation and convalescent facilities
- nursing homes, long term care facilities
- community care
- mental health agencies
- vocational rehabilitation programs
- community and government health agencies
- physiotherapy clinics
Minimum Admission Requirements
OSSD with the majority of credits at the College (C) and Open (O) level, including:
- 2 College (C) English courses (Grade 11 or Grade 12)
- 2 College (C) Science courses (Grade 11 or Grade 12)
When (C) is the minimum course level for admission, (U) or (U/C) courses are also accepted.
- Grade 11 and 12 University/College (UC) Science.
(Although not required for admission, recommended courses will help prepare you for this program).
If you are 19 years of age or older before classes start, and you do not possess an OSSD, you can write the Canadian Adult Achievement Test to assess your eligibility for admission. Additional testing or academic upgrading may be necessary to meet specific course requirements for this program.
All applicants will be required to achieve course credit in the mandatory sciences, through Secondary School or through Academic Upgrading programs.
Considering a range of careers in the healthcare field? The Personal Support Worker, Massage Therapy or Practical Nursing programs may also appeal to you. Upon graduation from the OTA and PTA program, you might also consider taking more education at the university level to become a physiotherapist or occupational therapist.
Students need to be in good health. Independent physical mobility and manual dexterity are essential. A physical demands analysis is available if there is concern regarding the physical expectations of the program.
A completed immunization record including a Two Step Mantoux Test and vaccination against Hepatitis B. For more information, and to print the required immunization form, please see the Immunization Information page.
Please Note: Immunization against the Seasonal Flu is strongly recommended.
Failure to provide any of the required Non Academic Field Requirements by the specified due date will result in an inability to participate in the mandatory placement components of the OTA & PTA Program.
Books and supplies are most expensive in the first year of the program (approximately $1,200). Second year textbooks are an additional $250.
For more information see the Pathways to University page.
Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on our website and in our publications. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time.