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Vo Leanne talks about the advancement of the OTA discipline around the Ottawa Hospital, and shares the various activities at the hospital to help and develop OTAs. It was revealed from an analysis that half of an OTAs time was spent on seating interventions in order to collaborate with occupational therapist to provide patients with an optimal wheelchair. Also, they spend their time implementing wheelchair mobilizing training with their patients and how to independently mobilize themselves with foot or hand propulsion. The OTA reference guide was created to help make the occupational therapist at The Ottawa Hospital better understand the role and benefits that an OTA has within the hospital.
Additionally, it highlights that the role of an OTA should be more than a seating intervention and rather include more direct patient care to apply more advantageously their OTA’s knowledge and training. With the help of the Assistant Education Committee, it permitted the transition to a more various role that involves more direct patient care. Due to the need for a better education of OTAs in the province of Ontario, a group of OTAs at The Ottawa Hospital formulated an eleven educational session of 3 years for assistants working at multiple acute care areas. With the data collected within 2 years, The Ottawa Hospital has changed the way of how physiotherapy and occupational therapy is supported by PTAs and OTAs. Rather than spending most of their time seating and positioning on most of the inpatient units, OTAs can have more direct patient interventions.
In my opinion, I do think this is a practice I could see myself working in due to my experience in a hospital. I am a meal helper at Saint-Vincent hospital, which exposes me to some of the task that occupational therapists and OTAs complete daily. I always want to help the patients to satisfy their need and make their day enjoyable. I’m a patient person which I think is an essential trait an OTA should have to understand a personal psychological and emotional wellbeing. With my job as meal helper it helped me possess sensitivity, compassion and empathy which are also characteristics an OTA should possess.
My first choice as occupation was being a nurse however, my mother is one, so I’ve decided to choose a different route in my career path. With my mother working in the medical field it increased my fascination towards medicine and the field of health science. Through my mother, who was familiar with the task of an occupational therapist, it helped orient me towards becoming an OTA to further understand the profession. I want to work in a hospital where I could spend my time trying to improve the quality of life of my patients.
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