Contact InformationKimberly Crealey Rouillier
Rehabilitative Health Department
Michael A. Nardone
Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
For more information about the program contact Deborah Watson:
Statement of Philosophy
The science that is fundamental to the field of occupational therapy is the natural science of the human being, whose body and mind are inextricably combined. Human beings are constantly adapting to change, with human functions and tasks developing from the interaction between sensory stimulation from the environment and the individual’s behavior, which is guided by intrinsic motivation and occupational roles. When biological, psychological or environmental factors interrupt this adaptation process, it is the utilization of purposeful activity and occupations, guided by the occupational therapy practitioner that prevents or mediates dysfunction, and elicits maximum independence.
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program mirrors this process of adaptation in its approach to learning. As educators, the program faculty passes on the legacy of experience and knowledge of core principles and practices of occupational therapy. At the same time the concept of continuous acquisition and scientific synthesis of the ingredients of the total human being are explored and discussed. The concept values of occupation and purposeful activity are maintained, while the challenges of advancing technology and managed health care are addressed.
The College and the OTA Program structure the student’s occupational environment with classrooms, laboratories, clinician educators, site visits and demonstration of therapeutic techniques that are conducive to learning. Teaching materials, training equipment and fieldwork experiences offer students the opportunity to practice and develop treatment skills. The requirements of the Program include student interaction and collaboration with instructors, peers, fieldwork supervisors, health professionals, patients and the general public. They include completion of written and oral assignments, practice in the observation and evaluation of human function, use of appropriate treatment modalities with supervision from a registered occupational therapist, and design and implementation of wellness groups which are presented to the community. The use of self is reinforced as the most important component in treatment, maintaining the core values of compassion, caring and understanding. These values are demonstrated through services provided by the occupational therapy assistant students to the communities in which they live and work.
The occupational environment calls forth an occupational adaptation response from the student, which results in the development of professional skills of the occupational therapy assistant. The OTA Program supports and encourages this response through placement of the student in fieldwork experiences. These experiences reinforce and help the student to integrate the practice of technical skills with the concepts of caring, understanding and responding to the needs of each individual seen for treatment. The student develops relative mastery of the fieldwork experience, and by providing services back to the state institutions, facilities, agencies and programs that promoted the occupational therapy education, completes the cycle of occupational adaptation.