Oct 13 / Niccole Rowe, BA, COTA/L , Founding Partner

A Valuable Tool for All OT Practitioners

What if there was a tool that could help you with some things at work? Things like:

  • Achieving better client outcomes
  • Growing your skills as an OT practitioner
  • Feeling more valued at work
  • Having a helping hand in the areas that you might feel weaker in
  • Improving teamwork

Those all sound pretty good, right? The good news is that you may already have this tool available to you! It is the relationship between the OT and OTA. 

The supervisory relationship when it is a collaboration between an OTA and OT is one of our distinct values of occupational therapy. Our clients benefit from the ideas and knowledge of ALL qualified practitioners who are focused on the occupational profile and goals of the client.

Each OT practitioner can also benefit through collaboration as each one can learn and grow through the different areas of expertise of the other. The OT and the OTA also bring different strengths to the relationship and collaboration for clients. Maybe the OT has great organizational skills to contribute to help keep handouts, records, and treatment areas neat and organized while the OTA brings a lot of creativity for treatments that keeps the clients interested and makes for attractive handouts.

The OT/OTA relationship can build teamwork that helps work feel less isolated and help each practitioner feel more appreciated. These are things that we all need right now.

It is a relationship that does take work to develop (like all relationships!). Start with small steps to build the relationship through trust and honesty. Encourage frequent communication to help each OT practitioner feel heard and considered.

As an OTA, I try to be honest with the OTs I work with about the style of communication that supports me the best. I really enjoy and seek constructive feedback, but it is helpful for me to have a quick heads up it is coming. I like to discuss this with the OTs that I work with so they can find a way they feel comfortable letting me know. It can be as easy as stating, "I appreciate how you have been working with Mrs. Smith. I just wanted to chat a minute about him." This helps me shift into a listening mode and give the conversation my full attention.

Take a moment today and consider even one small step for improving the collaboration you have with OTAs and OTs!
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OTA/OT Supervision: Using Collaboration for Success

This course will help OT practitioners gain a better understanding of the roles of the occupational therapy assistant and occupational therapist related to the supervisory relationship. The use of collaboration to build a better OTA/OT partnership will be discussed and examples for navigating the challenges associated with the OT/OTA relationship will be presented.