COTA Job Description, Duties & Salary

COTA Job Description, Duties, Salary

Do you like helping those in need? Are you a person who cannot stand it when someone is in medical distress? Then, a job as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant is the right pick for you. As a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, your job requires you to treat and help patients suffering from any medical issues, be it mental, physical, or emotional issues. The patients you deal with will depend upon your occupation setting. To be eligible for a COTA job, you need to have an associate degree with some practice in a specialized degree program. Once employed as a COTA employee, you will practice and develop your skills while doing your job.

COTA Job DescriptionAll You Need To Know:

The environment you work in and the patients are the deciding factors to what skills you will need to do the job. Schools can employ COTA, but doing so might cost schools a lot. Instead, a COTA can individually treat a student. They can assess the physical and mental capacity, analyze where the student is lagging, check the medical records of students for any prevailing medical conditions, conduct psychological tests to conclude why a child is not performing well in class, etc. They then have to report their findings to the respective class teachers and parents. They will have to suggest ways to help the child come out of his problems.

The role of a COTA is not only limited to schools. They can also work in hospitals. But they will have many more tasks to perform apart from tending to their patients’ medical needs. They have to look after the administrative work as well. They may need to assist the therapist in filing papers, maintaining records, making appointments, preparing necessary documents for the patients. They also need to perform physiotherapy exercises on the patients. It would be best if you were a patient, empathetic, caring, and compassionate individual. It would be best if you were a great listener too. You must possess the ability to devise a treatment plan for your patients and, at the same time, learn to design the care plan given by your occupational therapist and implement it in your day to day work. 

COTA Duties – Responsibilities:

While a COTA job may vary from the organization you are working for, the preliminary duties remain the same. Here are some common duties and responsibilities that you have to undertake as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant:

  1. Ascertain The Wellbeing Of Your Patient: As a COTA, your prime role is to evaluate if your patient is fit, mentally and physically. They will have to conduct psychological tests and physical tests to analyze what kind of treatment is needed for the patient and then develop a treatment plan accordingly. If the person has endured any physical pain, then the COTA can ask them to describe the pain levels and if the patient feels any relief after treating it. You should also ask them how they have been feeling the previous day and think there are any signs of improvement. If a person is suffering from psychological problems, you will have to ask them personal questions and find the root cause of their mental problems.
  1. Prepare A Treatment Schedule: Now that you have ascertained your patient’s problems, it’s time to act upon it. As a COTA, you will work closely with the occupational therapist, who will advise you to perform specific tasks. Some plans can be basic hospital examinations, while some plans can be those that the patient can perform at home with very little or no guidance. The treatment schedule you prepare should be approved by the occupational therapist as well as the federal agencies. You can also include group treatment in case of psychological problems. 
  1. Keep A Check On The Patient’s Progress: Once you have implemented your treatment as per your treatment plans, it is necessary to keep a tab on your patient’s progress. If there is no improvement, then you need to see where the tour plan is lagging. If your patient’s condition is improving, ensure that the patient’s progress in reaching your treatment plan’s expectations. If there is very little improvement, then you need to make changes in your treatment. You should report your findings to the occupational therapist. They can guide you further on what you should do.
  1. Maintain COTA Equipment: Your equipment must be clean and hygienic. You cannot play with the safety of your patients. You should ensure that your COTA equipment is upgraded and meets the safety standards of the organization. Test the frequency and strength of the equipment before using it. Before you use the patient’s equipment, inform the patient properly what the machine does and assure the patient that it will not cause them any inconvenience.

COTA Job Salary:

The COTA job salary as of May 2019 as per the census of the United States Bureau Of Labor Statistics is as follows:

  • Ohio: The state of Ohio has an employment level of 3,990 with a location quotient of 2.39. The hourly mean wage of a COTA is $29.24, whereas the annual mean wage is $60,810.
  • Texas: The state of Texas has an employment level of 3,900 with a location quotient of 1.02. The hourly mean wage of a COTA is $32.25, whereas the annual mean wage is $67,090.
  • Florida: The state of Florida has an employment level of 3,050 with a location quotient of 1.13. The hourly mean wage of a COTA is $31.59, whereas the annual mean wage is $65,710.
  • New York: The state of New York has an employment level of 2,880 with a location quotient of 0.99. The hourly mean wage of a COTA is $30.42, whereas the annual mean wage is $63,270.
  • Pennsylvania: The state of Pennsylvania has an employment level of 2,670 with a location quotient of 1.48. The hourly mean wage of a COTA is $27.50, whereas the annual mean wage is $57,200.

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