Utility Nav Top Nav Content Site Search Site Search
Menu
Program delivery update

To ensure we can safely offer the high-quality learning you expect, we've changed how many of our programs are delivered. Please view this program's delivery option(s) under "locations & availability". Learn more about how programs will be offered

Occupational Therapy / Physiotherapy Assistant

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

Program Image
Start Date:
September
Typical Length:
2 Years
Credential:
Diploma

Apply Now

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 who have direct contact with clients.

  • The OTA-PTA uses hands-on intervention to improve clients' ability to perform daily activities and their quality of life.
  • They are also 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

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.

Clinical placement

  • You participate in clinical 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.
  • Clinical placements are mandatory credit courses offered throughout the duration of your program. They provide you with the opportunity to integrate theory with practice and understand the everyday challenges of a work environment.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to clinical placements are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

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/Physiotherapy Assistant Program at Nova Scotia Community College, Lunenburg 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, 2019 for the period until April 30, 2025. 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
  • The Occupational Therapy/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

Other info

  • 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.

September 2020

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Lunenburg Campus/Online Bridgewater Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled), and on-campus learning.
Waitlist

September 2021

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Cumberland Campus Springhill Full time In-class Seats available

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent, including Grade 12 Academic Biology and English and one additional Grade 12 Academic Science (Chemistry or Physics).
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details
  • If you do not have the required academic credits, NSCC offers a variety of credit courses through the Academic & Career Connections program.

Program requirements

  • A current, official Criminal Record check and Vulnerable Sector check are required to complete work placements in this program. A conviction may impact your ability to complete program requirements. Inability to obtain a work placement will impact the student's ability to complete program requirements and proceed through to graduation. 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 Standard First Aid, CPR Level C. 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.
  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.

Tuition

Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
$3,515
Tuition (International):
$11,350

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

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

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

ANAP 1008 - Anatomy and Physiology for Rehabilitation
This course introduces the sciences of anatomy and physiology and the basic structure, functions and assessment of the integumentary, musculoskeletal, respiratory, circulatory gastrointestinal, urinary, reproductive, endocrine, and nervous systems as well as the sensory organs. Integration of systems and maintenance of homeostasis within the body will also be discussed. This course provides the learner with a clinical understanding of anatomical landmarks in helping to develop the learner’s palpation skills. Integrating lab hours into this course will enhance the ability of the students to accurately apply treatment techniques to the client.

ANAP 2011 - Functional Anatomy
This course provides the learner with a further understanding of anatomy, based on identifying landmarks on the skin for application of treatment modalities such as splinting, electrotherapy, and seating. This lab-based course will develop the learner’s palpation skills which enhance the ability to accurately apply treatment techniques to the client. Client positioning and draping will be emphasized. Normal joint movement will be reviewed and practiced with test subjects.

GDEV 1005 - Growth and Development
Upon completion the learner will acquire an understanding of the process of growth and development including physical, cognitive, psychosocial and developmental tasks across the lifespan.

HCOM 1015 - Writing and Research Skills
Effective written communication skills are a necessary component for success in the health and human services environment where accountability, communication and professional documentation are essential in providing service for others. This course includes mechanics of writing, document preparation and information management used in the health and human services field. This course is also designed to provide the learner with foundational information literacy and research skills required to prepare documents used in the health care field.

OTPT 1000 - Health Promotion and Exercise
This course is designed to prepare the learner with an understanding of the factors that affect health and wellness both on an individual and community level. The components of an exercise program are emphasized, including principles of training and exercise prescription as per American College of Sport Medicine Guidelines. Specific and general muscle training will be addressed. This course will be in the form of both lecture and lab components.

OTPT 1010 - Foundations in Rehabilitation
This course is designed to provide an overview of the national and provincial health care systems and to introduce the learner to Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy practice. The roles of the Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapy Assistant and Occupational Therapy Assistant in a variety of practice settings will be discussed. The benefits of collaborative multidisciplinary relationships and ethical practice for client and family-centred care will be emphasized. Orientation to the clinical environment and opportunities for clinical observation will be included in this course.

OTPT 1011 - Human Relations
Completion of this course will provide the learner with the tools, personal insights and abilities to work effectively as part of the collaborative healthcare team in order to enhance client and family centred care.

OTPT 1020 - Enabling Occupations
This course provides the learner with theoretical and practical knowledge related to the practice of Occupational Therapy including biomechanical and compensatory strategies as prescribed by Occupational Therapists. The course focuses on skill development for specific Occupational Therapy tasks in the context of enabling occupations. Learners will develop the skills necessary to assist therapists in fabricating splints and other assistive devices.

OTPT 2000 - Movement and Mobility
This course provides the learner with technical and practical knowledge related to maximizing safe mobility and occupation of clients with physical disability both independently and within a multidisciplinary team. Different techniques of mobilization will be reviewed and practiced for clients across the lifespan. Maintenance of equipment will also be practiced. The majority of the learning will occur in the lab setting.

OTPT 2001 - Musculoskeletal Conditions in Rehabilitation
This course is designed to prepare the learner with an understanding of common musculoskeletal afflictions across the lifespan, and what Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy treatment techniques are implemented to safely maximize functional and occupational potential in their clients across the lifespan. Managing clients with burns will also be reviewed.

OTPT 2003 - Occupational Therapy Interventions in Mental Health
This course provides the learner with an understanding of the role of Occupational Therapy in mental health services, including the role of group work and individual work in a client and family-centred, collaborative environment. Co-leading and facilitating groups and individual plans of intervention will be discussed.

OTPT 2004 - Cardiorespiratory and Vascular Conditions in Rehabilitation
This course is designed to prepare the learner with an understanding of common cardiac, pulmonary and vascular conditions across the lifespan. It also includes the type of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy treatment techniques that are implemented to safely maximize function and enable occupational potential in their clients. Managing clients in critically ill clinical situations will be reviewed.

OTPT 2025 - Neurological Conditions in Rehabilitation
This course is designed to prepare the learner with an understanding of common neurological conditions across the lifespan, and what Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy treatment techniques are implemented to safely maximize functional and occupational potential in their clients.

OTPT 2050 - Clinical Practicum I
This course provides selected supervised learning experiences allowing the learner the opportunity to apply components of client care as it pertains to Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy practice in a physical health setting, under the supervision of a preceptor. Beginning rehabilitation skills will be practiced as a component of the client’s interdisciplinary care plan.

OTPT 3005 - Physical Agents in Rehabilitation
This course provides the learner with knowledge of the different physiotherapeutic modalities, rationale of use, contraindications and precautions, and methods of application as delegated by the Physiotherapist. Instruction will occur in the classroom and lab settings.

OTPT 3006 - Community Health
This course provides the learner with skills to provide delegated Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy services within the community setting. Community health care issues, barriers and enablers will be discussed. Environments for service provision include the client’s home, school, work and/or play across the lifespan with a variety of client diagnosis and needs. The Canadian Falls Prevention Curriculum will be completed in this course.

OTPT 3007 - Rehabilitation in Special Populations
This course provides the learner with specialized skills required to assist the Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist to work with specialized populations such as the very young, frail older adults, the very obese, clients with chronic pain, and end of life/palliative care issues.

OTPT 3010 - Professional Practice
This course will provide the learner with an understanding of professional issues facing Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy within the workplace. The future role of the support personnel will be debated and discussed based on current models of care and professional trends. The learner will be introduced to essential leadership skills required within today’s health care system to enable them to become successful change agents within their workplace.

OTPT 3050 - Clinical Practicum II
This course provides selected supervised learning experiences allowing the learner the opportunity to perform components of client care as it pertains to Occupational Therapy and/or Physiotherapy practice under the supervision of a preceptor. The learner will be able to explore a wide variety of skills in the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy practice for clients with mental health, musculoskeletal, and/or neurological deficits with increasing independence.

OTPT 4050 - Clinical Practicum III
This course provides selected supervised learning experiences allowing the learner the opportunity to apply Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy knowledge and theory in a variety of clinical settings both in physical and mental health, under the supervision of a preceptor. The learner will experience increasing independence in clinical problem solving and skill practice, and become further involved in the collaborative care planning for clients.

OTPT 4060 - Clinical Internship
This course provides mentorship of the learner through selected supervised learning experiences with a clinical preceptor, allowing the learner opportunity to apply the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy physical knowledge in any setting. The intent of this experience is to provide an opportunity for the learner to practice skills at the beginning level of entry to practice.

SAFE 1050 - Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (12 Hours)
This course is designed to provide high quality, meaningful training in the safe management of disruptive and assaultive behaviour. This 12-hour course includes both theory on crisis development and personal safety techniques.

SOCS 2002 - Mental Health Issues
This course is a general survey course that considers key content in relation to mental health disorders. The student will examine biological and psychological factors related to mental health and illness, ranging from functional to dysfunctional thoughts and behaviours. Current theories, therapies and intervention strategies are explored. Mental Health will be addressed across the life span. Students will investigate legal, ethical and social perspectives in relationship to scope of practice.

Apply Now

Have Questions? Contact Us.

Fill out this form and we'll be in touch.

Required fields are marked with a red symbol (*)

Yes No

Thank you for contacting us.
We will respond to you within three to five business days. While you wait, feel free to browse our list of Programs & Courses or visit our Admissions information section.