Utility Nav Top Nav Content Site Search Site Search
Occupational Therapy / Physiotherapy Assistant

Occupational Therapy / Physiotherapy Assistant

Work directly with clients providing hands-on treatment to improve their quality of life and ability to perform daily activities.

Start Date:
2 Years
Full-time (In-class)
+Locations & Availability
September 2018 Lunenburg Campus • Bridgewater  • Waitlist New applications may be waitlisted until {0} 20{1}. September 2019 Cumberland Campus (classes in Cumberland Campus) • Springhill • Seats available New applications may be waitlisted until {0} 20{1}.

Program Overview

The Occupational Therapy Assistant-Physiotherapy Assistant (OTA-PTA) performs occupational therapy and physiotherapy interventions for clients with mental and physical conditions, under the direction of a Physiotherapist or an Occupational Therapist. They are an important member of the healthcare team. They have direct contact with clients, with hands-on intervention targeted to improve clients' quality of life and their ability to perform activities of daily living. The OTA-PTA is responsible for managing client treatment areas and equipment procurement.

In this program, you learn:

  • theory behind the practice of occupational therapy and physiotherapy and have an opportunity to apply your knowledge through clinical experiences and practicums
  • How to teach and enable clients and families to effectively cope with limitations in movement, daily functioning and activities (temporary or permanent) during and following recovery

Admission Requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent, including Grade 12 Academic English and Biology and one additional Grade 12 Academic Science (Chemistry or Physics).
  • If you do not have the required academic credits, NSCC offers a variety of credit courses through the Academic & Career Connections program.
  • Documented immunity (PDF 429KB), by a healthcare provider, to Hepatitis B is required to begin this program. Engaging early in the immunization process is recommended.
    IMPORTANT UPDATE: Effective July 1, 2018, applicants are not required to be immune to Hepatitis B to begin this program. The form provided in this link is still an admission requirement, and must be completed by a health care practitioner and submitted to Admissions. Please follow the instructions on the form to complete your application to the program.

Program Requirements

  • A current, official Criminal Record check and Vulnerable Sector check are required to complete work placements in this program. A conviction or finding may impact your ability to complete program requirements. Information on this process will be provided at the beginning of your program. Current immunizations may also be required.
  • Health & Human Services programs have additional requirements including immunizations and completion of first aid/CPR. You must submit documentation that you have completed these requirements at the beginning of your program. View additional Health & Human Services Program Requirements.
    • Receiving immunizations may take up to 10 months to complete. Failure to complete immunizations can result in a delayed work placement.

Choose NSCC

  • This program is structured to provide cross-training, at the assistive level, in both the occupational therapy and physiotherapy disciplines.
  • You collaborate and interact with students in other related health and human service fields, fostering a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to client-centred care. Graduates will work collaboratively with Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists, as well as other health care professionals, to improve the health and quality of life for Nova Scotians. The program’s mission is, through quality education, to provide learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe, competent and ethical care within the OTA-PTA scope of practice.
  • The Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant Program at Nova Scotia Community College, Lunenburg Campus is seeking accreditation by the Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program (OTA & PTA EAP) of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada. The program has been granted Candidacy Status, which denotes an affiliation with the OTA & PTA EAP and is a pre-requisite for accreditation of the education program. Candidacy Status is not an accreditation status and does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation once the program undergoes a full accreditation review.
  • The Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Assistant Program at Nova Scotia Community College – Cumberland Campus 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, 2015 for the period until April 30, 2021. Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program, Suite 26, 509 Commissioners Road West London, Ontario, N6J 1Y5 (226) 636-0632, www.otapta.ca.
  • Continue your studies at university. This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more.

Employment Opportunities

  • Private and public sector: NS Health Authority, long-term care facilities, community settings and private clinics.

Other Info

  • Many employers in this sector require one or all of the following as part of the hiring process: current, official Criminal Record check, Vulnerable Sector check and/or Child Abuse Register search. A conviction or finding may impact your ability to secure employment.
  • Alternate Intake – this program is not offered each year. Check program locations for upcoming start dates.
  • Students with physical impairments (restrictions of lifting, mobility, etc.) should discuss their condition with their physician before pursuing a career as an Occupational Therapy Assistant-Physiotherapy Assistant. The physical ability to work with clients who are restricted in their own mobility and require physical assistance is essential for working in many clinical settings.
  • Work Placements – you participate in work placements in public and/or private settings within the province. Students are not guaranteed placements of their choice and may be required to complete a placement in communities throughout the province. Some evening and/or weekend shifts may be required.
    • Transportation, living accommodations and other costs related to work placements are the responsibility of the student.
  • Application of knowledge and skills during OTA-PTA clinical placements may take place in a variety of settings including medical-surgical, geriatric, pediatrics, mental health, community care and home care.

Courses May Include

Course descriptions
Code Course
ANAP 1008   Anatomy and Physiology for Rehabilitation
ANAP 2011   Functional Anatomy
GDEV 1005   Growth and Development
HCOM 1015   Writing and Research Skills
OTPT 1000   Health Promotion and Exercise
OTPT 1010   Foundations in Rehabilitation
OTPT 1011   Human Relations
OTPT 1020   Enabling Occupations
OTPT 2000   Movement and Mobility
OTPT 2001   Musculoskeletal Conditions in Rehabilitation
OTPT 2003   Occupational Therapy Interventions in Mental Health
OTPT 2004   Cardiorespiratory and Vascular Conditions in Rehabilitation
OTPT 2025   Neurological Conditions in Rehabilitation
OTPT 2050   Clinical Practicum I
OTPT 3005   Physical Agents in Rehabilitation
OTPT 3006   Community Health
OTPT 3007   Rehabilitation in Special Populations
OTPT 3010   Professional Practice
OTPT 3050   Clinical Practicum II
OTPT 4050   Clinical Practicum III
OTPT 4060   Clinical Internship
SAFE 1000   Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
SAFE 1001   Introduction to NS OH&S Act
SAFE 1050   Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (12 Hours)
SOCS 2002   Mental Health Issues

Additional Graduation Requirements

Immunization form Completion
Portfolio Development
Standard First Aid, CPR Level C

Next Steps

  1. 1

    Visit NSCC

    Visit NSCC » Campus Tour
  2. 2

    Application Process

    Who Can ApplyHow to Apply
  3. 3

Have questions?

Learn more about being a student. Tell us a bit about you and we'll be in touch.

Was this page helpful?
Your feedback will help improve this website