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What is in a title... OTA/OTR

Last post 03-22-2017, 10:45 PM by JinkyS Lee. 72 replies.
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  •  01-01-2008, 6:36 PM

    Re: What is in a title... OTA/OTR

    I would like to let everyone know that I have just seen and read the same topic going on the blog stating "what is a COTA", it is very interesting and states exactly what we have been talking about here.   Very glad to know and see that there are many others out there with the same concerns and looking for change to what is only right.
  •  01-03-2008, 10:52 AM

    • Pam is not online. Last active: 05-26-2017, 10:56 AM Pam
    • Joined on 12-07-2007
    • COTA Outpatient Therapy
    • FL
    • 8 Posts

    Re: What is in a title... OTA/OTR

    I think you are focusing on the "Title" too much. If you are treated by the OTR as an equal but they are the one making the decisions regarding the Patients Plan of Care and you are the one carrying out the Plan does that NOT make you an Assistant. The patients don't really know the difference anyway and many of them don't care just so they get the best care possible. Is the girl that does the secretarial work for the Administrater called an "Administrative Assistant?" You should not be getting treated differently because you are an assistant... Maybe that's the problem....Do you need to have a "private discussion" Re: respect with your OTR?
    PAM
  •  01-03-2008, 1:00 PM

    Re: What is in a title... OTA/OTR

    I do not have any issues with the OTRs I work with, we have a wonderful relationship and are all friends outside of the workplace as well.  Yes they are called administrative assistants... aka: secretaries!  In which we are not.  We do much more then paper push and/or take orders. 
  •  01-03-2008, 9:49 PM

    Re: I must disagree with this premise

      I am a COTA and I am amazed at Mr. Mancino's comments.  First, I think he may be feeling insecurity because an OTA or COTA he works with may have a more current education than himself.  As an OTR, it is HIS responsibility as a supervisor (with 12 years experience)  to make sure the OTA understands and is competant in whatever it is he wants the OTA to do. Did you learn that in OT school? This is something he himself admits to have failed at. Instead of taking out your insecurities and blame on the OTA, you should do some inner reflection and reveiw how you explained your expectations to the OTA.  I have first hand witnessed many OTR's that cannot think "outside of the box", and I am sure there are some professionals in every profession that "just don't get it".  There are great people in this profession, and like other professions, there are also some "substandard" practitioners.  Do not think all OTA's are like the few you may have had a bad experience with, just as I as a COTA do not judge all OTR's because of the few "bad" ones I have known.
    tjc
  •  01-28-2008, 3:28 PM

    Re: What is in a title... OTA/OTR

     I think that some people are actually missing the whole point of the first article. I have been a COTA for a year now and technically work in three very different settings. My main issue is (like in the first article) the name. Occupational Therapist Assistant.  Anyone who is outside this profession will look at me and ask me why I had to go to school for two years studying the things I did (which did include kinesiology, and intensive anatomy and physiology, and so on) to be someone's assistant.  I think that the name should be changed to Assistant Occupational Therapist with Certified and Licensed added behind the title..it at least sounds better and may be a little more easy to understand that I am no one's "assistant".  There are other therapist jobs where just because someone goes to school for the associates degree does not make them an assistant (i.e. Respiratory Therapist).  I understand and agree that OTR's have more intense training and schooling..I just disagree with the name.  I don't think that it is right though for some OTR's to think that just because they have done these extra things makes them "better" to say. I have thought of going back to school for my masters, but right now with two children that is not an option. I also feel as though I would rather stay with having the one on one daily contact with patients rather than just evaluating them and leaving (as one of my OT's does).
  •  02-08-2008, 6:08 PM

    Re: I must disagree with this premise

    There are speech assistants out there.  I was a licensed Asssistant SLP in Texas.  Currently there are about 13 states that employ Asst. SLPs.   Their educational requirements vary from state to state.  I've got a bachelor's.  Some states allow temporary assistant licenses while the student is waiting for admission to a Master's program, which is now required to be an SLP.  We moved to Ohio, which currently does not have SLP assistants, and admission to the Master's programs are very competitive due to the large numbers of students who need their Masters competing for the few openings availble in Master's programs.  Many of us work in the school system.  In that field also there are those who believe the assistants know nothing, and those that appreciate and are able to utilize their services.  I did not see any practice in a medical setting, but we did work with special needs children.   The SLPs who were licensed before a certain year,  (I think it was near 1997...)were grandfathered in and did not need to get a Masters.  The SLPs with Masters have more neurological and biological training as the field has gained in knowlege of those areas.  In my personal opinion, what I have seen is that assistants have increased in the school system as the schools must provide a "free and appropriate education" which seems to include therapy to students, but the students do not pay for it.  This is expensive for the schools.  The assistant cannot do the evaluation, (there are some exceptions to those who have been appropriately trained), diagnose, or write treatment goals, but can do the therapy they have trained for.  I think the OT field will experience some of the same issues. 

  •  03-01-2008, 12:40 AM

    Re: What is in a title... OTA/OTR

    Not all OTRs are "administrative assistants" aka "secretaries".  I think you will find in many settings OTR's do much more than this and i think this is a very narrow minded statement coming from someone who wants respect as a professional.  I am actually a MOT/DPT student completing evidenced based research and "fell" onto this forum mistakingly, but could not exit until i was finished reading all of these posts.  I think it is absolutely astounding that people who are supposed to be working toward the same goals, for the same reason, are bashing one another mainly because something has been said or done at one point that has offended them.  I am sure COTA's have a vast amount of knowledge as well as experience, i do not know specifically because i have not been through one of your programs and therefore have no reason to undermine your knowledge.  I have been privileged to have the opportunity to attain an occupational science bachelor's degree as well as currently work towards a MOT and DPT degree.  With this being said, I do not think my education or job title encompasses who I am, it is a passion i have that i have followed.  I think everyone on here should realize this. As professionals in the occupational therapy field we should all understand the importance of multidimensional levels of a person's being, and not just their profession or education level.  

    I worked as a pharmacy technician for five years during my undergrad.  I did EVERYTHING (and knew everyone) in the pharmacy i worked in, including transcribing prescriptions, compounding drugs, counseling patients, counted pills, inventory, scheduling, AND all the wonderful little housekeeping duties.  All the pharmacists did was look over the medication in the bottle i counted out with the label i put on it, and put their initials on the receipt attached to the bag, and they got all the credit.  But they were the ones on the line if i counted the wrong medications or the wrong number, or heaven forbid someone die due to the meds.  They went to school to be pharmacists, and therefore got the recognition whether it be right or wrong.  However, i knew that no matter how much i worked and did all the "dirty" work, they were more knowledgeable than i was in many areas. Although this is not an expect replication of the situation, I understand the frustration!  

    Also, i have had the opportunity to work and observe many OTR's, as well as a few COTA's and in my experience they all got along very well and respected one another equally, as it should be!!!  I think instead of everyone getting on here and trying to compete for the better paragraph containing the many aspects of a power trip; you should be putting that much time and effort into the respect you give to the people you are bashing  and you will get the respect and recognition you deserve in return.  If all your looking for is a "title" change in your profession, you are posting and writing to the wrong people.  The OTR's and COTA's you are writing to and trying to cause debates with are not the ones responsible for your job "title" that you seem to have such a huge problem with!!  Have a great day and to everyone on here who seems to have such a negative outlook on your job and the people you work with, maybe you should look into a career change, because these negative attitudes reflect and show through in your job and discourage others AND YOUR CLIENTS so get off yourselves for a while!

  •  03-04-2008, 7:01 PM

    Re: What is in a title... OTA/OTR

    As your thoughts and opinions are appreciated I would need to clarify that my response/remark regarding secretaries was not towards OTRs, it was in response to the comment above that one, stating, Is the girl that does the secretarial work for the Administrater called an "Administrative Assistant?"  This is not about bashing each other, or about who does what, it is a simple comment looking for other opinions regarding changing the title for COTAs.  Time has changed and so has the profession, lets not take things out of context nor personal. 

  •  03-20-2008, 11:17 PM

    Re: What is in a title... OTA/OTR

    In response to the above email, I would like to address a few statements of error listed  here by this OTR.  I have been a COTA for more than 7 years having completed an Associate of Science degree from a University in 2000. As a COTA student I most certainly did have to have Kinesiology class and Anatomy and Physiology I, 2  along with many other challenging courses. We were also required to practice doing evaluations as part of our training while in school. We also completed more Activity Analysis then some OTR programs are required to do. I think its important to acknowledge that some Cota programs out there are very demanding and have stringent requirements. Please be informed that Cotas are often well trained.

     

    Kathy


    Kathy
  •  03-21-2008, 1:15 PM

    Re: What is in a title... OTA/OTR

    I completely agree w/you Kathy, but more and more schools are focused on the bottom line and not substance. I'm in training to be a COTA and having been a personal trainer for the past 7 years, I can recognize the need for a people skills class. The younger COTAs do their last internship and end up failing b/c of their lack of maturity. It's not always knowledge that's the issue, it's the maturity level of the COTA or OTR for that matter. Alot of the newer COTA students are young and still think of it being a participation exercise rather than an observational analysis for the patients. The bottom line is people are different and every circumstance is going to be unique, what works w/one, might not work w/another, Perhaps we should. think of helping one another rather than holding such a powerful prejudice in our heart.
  •  04-11-2008, 6:29 PM

    Re: What is in a title... OTA/OTR

    I am a new COTA, and have a masters degree in an unrelated field. Believe me, I was held to much higher standards in the university that I was in technical college. The psychology courses in particular were at a much higher level. COTAs are required to take kinesiology, but (at my school, at least) it won't transfer for college credit because it is not as extensive as a regular college level kinesiology class. I am hoping that with OTs moving to an entry level masters, COTAs will eventually require a bachelors degree. Then a name change would be more justified, I think. Having such a wide discrepancy between educational requirements is strange.

  •  04-15-2008, 9:56 AM

    Re: What is in a title... OTA/OTR

    The biggest difference between an OTR & COTA is that legally COTA's cannot interpret test/evaluation results.  OTR's (at least in Illinois) are now required to have a Master's degree as well
  •  04-22-2008, 11:48 PM

    Re: What is in a title... OTA/OTR

    I have a question.....I would appreciate your input.  If there is not a goal for FMC/or grip written for the patient, why are these tasks done so often and so frequently.  This is in regards to OT's and COTA's.....  Doesn't there need to be a goal written and in the POC before these type of tasks are performed????
  •  05-16-2008, 9:53 PM

    Re: What is in a title... OTA/OTR

    Well from what I have endured in the past, it is a goal that can be added in as felt necessary along the way.  Not sure why it is being done so often where you are but it may not appear that something is wrong at the time of eval and following some time or thru daily activities/routines it shows or the patient will state the problem... not realizing it is a problem.  Just a guess... 
  •  06-10-2008, 8:44 PM

    Help!!

    I made a terriable mistake. I am a single mother, going to school full time for OTA and working full time. I made a bad decision and tried to steal a pair of pants (that I needed for work) from a department store, I got caught. I got arrested and now I am scared I won't be able to get my liscense after I graduate. Does anybody know what is going to happen? Will I still be able to get my liscense?
    J.
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