Essential Functions and Skills

Personal qualities

Characteristics of a successful occupational therapy assistant (OTA) and OTA student include but are not limited to:

  • Adopts a positive attitude
  • Attentive to detail and thorough in task completion
  • Flexible and open to change in the program and variety in workplace
  • Functions well in high stress situations
  • Works both as a member of a team but with little supervision at times
  • Open to working with individuals from a variety of backgrounds
  • Stable in temperament and caring in approach to others
  • Able to accept and implement feedback
  • Appropriate in judgment & ethical in behavior
  • Professional (behavior, dress, hygiene, and communication) and respectful of others using tact
  • Accepts personal responsibility

Essential functions

The following are standards for graduates of our OTA program. If you have a disability, MCC will provide reasonable accommodations. Please contact the access resource coordinator at 816.604.4089 or visit the access office website. Two-to six-week advance notice is required for some accommodations.

Function Standard Some examples of necessary activities
Mobility Ability sufficient to assist clients to move from room to room, move over varied terrain, and provide safe and effective client care in a timely fashion.
  • Assist adults and children with transfers to/from a variety of surfaces and provide proper positioning for the clients independently and safely.
  • Transport adults and children in wheelchairs.
  • Transport and set up intervention and therapeutic equipment such as swings, balls, splint pans, prostheses, tub seats, portable commodes, etc.
  • Physically support clients.
  • engaging in treatment safely during treatment sessions.
Fine Motor Skills Fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective patient care in a timely fashion.
  • Use instruments such as goniometers and strength gauges, safety devices, adaptive equipment in the care/treatment of clients
  • Construction of splints, adaptive equipment, as needed
Hearing Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs of clients for safe client care.
  • Detect and respond independently to monitoring alarms, signs of client's distress such as a change in an client's pulse, blood pressure and/or a client's communication of distress
Visual Sufficient observation skills necessary for safe client care.
  • Detect and respond independently to warning signals from team members and/or clients of impending danger or emergency, i.e. a change in an individual's appearance, and/or an
  • individual's physical communication of distress.
Critical Thinking Critical thinking sufficient for clinical judgment.
  • Interpret and carry-out written and verbal communication often in stressful situations.
  • Identify cause-effect relationship to develop appropriate and safe intervention strategies following the OTR plan of care.
  • Determine when assistance from an OTR is needed
Interpersonal Skills Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with clients, families, groups, team members from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds.
  • Establish rapport and maintain professional boundaries in relationships with clients/families and colleagues.
  • Work with a diverse client population including persons of various ages, ethnic, racial, religious, alternative lifestyle and socioeconomic backgrounds without prejudice.
  • Motivate and engage clients in treatment.
  • Ability to resolve conflict and to respond to feedback in a professional manner
  • Respond appropriately and effectively with abnormal behavior and/or threatening inappropriate or aggressive behavior(s) that maybe exhibited by clients.
  • Exhibit teamwork skills and a spirit of cooperation and respect for peers, faculty, supervisors and other professionals, clients and their significant others.
  • Function as part of a team including consulting, negotiating, sharing and influencing.
Communication Communication abilities for interaction with others orally and in writing
  • Accurately present therapy findings/results/plan to clients/families and in team meetings.
  • Instruct client/family in OT treatment procedures.
  • Accurately document client progress notes, reports according to facility guidelines and standards.
Professional Behavior Behavior consistent with the standards and core values of the occupational therapy profession.
  • Regular attendance and timeliness.
  • Ability to self-assess and implement self-improvement strategies.
  • Ability to recognize and employ feedback from instructors and clinical partners; ability to give and receive feedback to enhance professional growth.
  • Conduct oneself in accordance with professional ethics.
  • Completion of activity to increase public awareness of occupational therapy and/or health.
  • Participation in community service activities.