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What is in a title... OTA/OTR

Last post 06-03-2017, 5:15 AM by App Jetty. 73 replies.
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  •  09-18-2010, 5:37 PM

    Re: I must disagree with this premise

    Well Said Isabella!! 

  •  09-28-2010, 7:01 PM

    Re: I must disagree with this premise

    Tim, I recall you writing on this topic either in other forums or in the past on this forum.  You seem to have a rather "vitriolic" opinion of COTA's.  Reading between the lines, I sense that perhaps the problem is not so much with your COTA's as with you.  You "hand" them things and expect them to "do" them.  The problem here seems to be control of your colleagues vs aspiring to excel in your profession and provide best practice for your clients.  Ironic enough, your description of COTA's and the treatment techniques they choose so accurately describes the OTR I work with--the one with the "Master's Degree" who spends each day using the exact same techniques in the 6 years he has worked here -- UB bike, theraband, clothespins, therabar and gripper.  Everyday!!  It's mind numbing to witness and I suspect his mind has become rather numb.  Sound education is what you make of it--COTA or OTR!
  •  09-30-2010, 6:27 PM

    Re: I must disagree with this premise

    I noticed you were feeling COTA bashing needs to stop; how about practicing no OTR bashing either!!! The way many regs (Federal or third party payer or regulatory) stand now; you wouldn't be providing therapy if it wasn't for your OTR.  Let's be honest and fair in postings. I suggest OTRs and COTAs do diligence and research the field you are going into, how your strengths, personalities, personal and professional goals all fit with your choice.  As an OTR who has more experience than you can imagine I would recommend that if you want to be an OTR, do the work to be that; if you don't want to be, stop criticizing!
  •  09-30-2010, 7:12 PM

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

    rmlski:

    This is not intended as disrespectful. When  you have the education of an OTR, I invite you to come back and tell this audience that it didn't make any difference in your work and that the only thing that made a difference in your work is your experience.  "Anyone" can't write essays and do oral presentations.  I have seen OTR students fail or become so uncomfortable with what is required such as professional presentations that they leave before they ever complete their education. No one is saying you don't work hard...unless that is a conversation you have with yourself.  So should a paralegal still be a paralegal or should they just be called a lawyer because they do much of the "treatment" for a lawyer to prep for a case.  Our world is structured with variances.  Maybe we should just call the vice president the president, maybe we should just call all the military enlistees "generals".  This is the structure of our world.  The choice is yours: live with it, go back for your OTR or change professions.  COTAs play a very valuable role in our profession.  A great COTA is treasured by any OTR. A COTA who is uncomfortable or unwilling to respect the difference in education is a nightmare for any OTR. I spend over 10 years paying back educational loans.  My OTR education/career wasn't handed to me on a silver platter! I have worked extremely hard for it.

     I am amazed at the anger from the COTAs.  I have worked with many over the years, some ok, some fair, some horrible, some fired, some hired and some good. Some went through the old laddering program to become OTRs, some went back to school, some put themselves on a pedestal made up of nothing but defensiveness, some wanted to stay a COTA because they had an internal gut level (innate) understanding of the personal and professional goals and desires.  Some got into OT because they wanted to make a difference in peoples lives, others got in because they couldn't afford to be an OTR and new this was what they wanted to do; some got in and went off on a power trip and wanted to immediately be a lead therapist or manager (without regard for their OTR counterparts); some bashed their OTRs because they felt insecure within themselves and the only way to feel better was to put down their supervisors, some made good team members, some never should have been allowed to touch another patient, some wanted a paycheck delivered while they twiddled their thumbs at the nurses station, some wanted to meet and marry a med student. Some OTRs have a masters in OT, some have an MBA or an MS in other field.

    Common denominator: we are all in the same field; the patient matters. COTAs play a very valuable role in our profession.  A great COTA is treasured by any OTR. A COTA who is uncomfortable or unwilling to respect the difference in education and their supervisor's professional knowledge/skills/judgment is a nightmare for any OTR. An OTR who is unwilling to respect a COTAs professional knowledge/skills/judgment is a nightmare for any COTA. 

    Keep in mind; this is a relatively small profession.  You will meet people throughout your life who either are an OTR/COTA or who know some.  Be sensitive to the reality that your reputation can precede you where ever you go. 

  •  10-01-2010, 10:23 AM

    Re: I must disagree with this premise

    I find it very interesting that you think it is sad that bashing of COTA's continues to go on, when you are doing just the same to OTR's.  What do you expect when you continue to say the things you do about someone who you are supposed to be working as a TEAM with!  I have worked in acute care, SNF, and now and working in home health and have many OTR friends and COTA friends.  I think as with any profession the type of OTR or COTA you are depends on how much you value the job you perform and the patients you treat.  As for the OTR's you work with and the facility you work for, I would instead look at who is mandating what it is the OTR does instead of BLAMING the OTR for the amount of time they spend with the patient.  I am a very thorough OTR and I work very well with my peer COTA's, but when I worked in a SNF I was the only OTR working with 4 COTA's...so I was the only one to do evals and that's all they wanted me to do.  TRUST ME I WOULD HAVE LOOOOVVEEEDDD to actually TREAT my patients but we have to follow what our bosses and district managers tell us to do...as do you!!  So instead of trying to blame your peers, maybe look a little higher up because ultimately it all has to do with what makes the most money!!  So maybe if you have such a problem with your title and are not confident enough in yourself that you have to bash someone who you are supposed to be treating as a team member instead of an enemy you should look at changing your profession, because it is OBVIOUS you are not happy in what you do and that only puts a bad taste in peoples mouthes when it comes to our field of work!!

  •  10-02-2010, 8:31 AM

    • LC. is not online. Last active: 08-13-2017, 9:01 PM LC.
    • Joined on 03-03-2009
    • Long Island City, NY
    • 4 Posts

    Re: Thank you Peter!

    My compliments Peter for your statements here.not only shows how well informed you are but also the great traits of your personality and your ability to think before you speak,or write.(Unfortunately not all have it).I was a COTA for years before I decided to go back to school for OTR,however myself many times encountered OTR's that didn't have a clue of certain things and that's a reality;having shifted from pediatrics to geriatrics she relied heavily on my experience as a COTA to function and sign my papers while I ran most of the feeding programs etc.We all have different experiences and everyone is mostly under someone.While COTA's are under the supervision of the OTR we are under administration.Could you immagine them speaking to us in such a derrogative/condescending way?I learned that every professional from janitor to president Obama deserve respect period.If it weren't for the people out in country fields we wouldn't be eating healthy organic food,so power to them and thank you so much for your hard work!(TO them).As a society we all have a role that collaborates we our wellbeing,we are to respect them all.Cota is a major part of the OT profession and as an OTR I have a lot of respect for all professions at any level.It is shameful to see some comments here,however the title does not make a great professional....it takes a lot more,and shameful some of these people are treating people in the fileds!!!I would be scared to have my dad under your care TIM.
    L.C. OTR/L
  •  10-02-2010, 8:34 AM

    • LC. is not online. Last active: 08-13-2017, 9:01 PM LC.
    • Joined on 03-03-2009
    • Long Island City, NY
    • 4 Posts

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

    Jane Bamford:

    FYI,  in our program, we do have kineselogy, A&P 1 and 2, some neuroscience, but nothing with any cadavener.  So our program, must be advanced.  The name assistant does not bother me..  I know what my role is.  We have even gone over evaluations, so we have an idea of what OT's do.  Thank you

    Jane

    That would be correct!!!Thank you for your great collaboration to the profession!

    LC OTR/L


    L.C. OTR/L
  •  05-09-2014, 7:27 PM

    Re: I must disagree with this premise

    I realize that this was written in 2007, and that most probably,  it is doubtful that the OTR that wrote this will see this reply.  However, there are some of us who are entering this profession in later life, who have much varied life experience which qualifies them to practice as COTA with less of a 'deer in headlights' approach.  As artists, former IT professionals, business owners, teachers, we come with the experiences which allow us to know EXACTLY how debilitating and traumatic injury affects those who require our services, both physically and on a cognitive level.  I think it was brash to believe that ALL COTA would be so limited in their creative or cognitive approach to COTA duties.  There are some of us that would not think to approach it any other way.  Perhaps it is your choices in very young, life inexperienced choices for COTA and that you should choose COTA who have had more live experience in the areas that you believe your assistants should approach their orders. I am just entering school.  However, my extremely varied life experience in rodeo, ranching, construction, office management, retail management, business ownership, a professional artist, sculptor, potter, and writer, as well as a driver and substitute teacher for children, and experience working with soldiers, teaching in nursing homes, giving seminars in corporations and working with both children and adults with disabilities gives me a unique perspective in what drives people.  I believe it gives me an edge on knowing just how to get the most out of them by knowing what is important to them.  Like a well rode horse, I've been there, done that - so I don't get rattled, am not easily offended, and I don't ever give up striving to do what's best for those around me, regardless of the task I'm given.  I haven't attended my first class yet.  But I KNOW I have what it takes, Dr. Mancino - to not only achieve what you believe a COTA should be capable of, but to exceed it.  I am most certain, I am not one of a kind.
  •  07-03-2014, 11:34 AM

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

    My mom is a COTA with over 30 years experience and is excellent at her job.  We frequently discuss "OT stuff."  I have been an OT for 6 years and very much appreciate and respect the COTAs I work with; we work as a team to provide the best treatment possible for our patients.  My additional education and training enables me to provide the COTAs with more in-depth assessment of the person and larger medical/clinical, psycho-social, and environmental picture.  I provide training to them in a variety of treatment strategies... even when they have many more years experience than me, including my mom.  Also, when we have training for new equipment/technologies/strategies/modalities, etc., I "catch on" quicker and apply them easier and explain things more in-depth for my patients due to my additional education.  I think clearly the higher level of education makes a big difference.  Thanks! Heather


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  •  08-04-2014, 3:51 AM

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

     It is interesting to me that nobody has genuinely answered this person's question. Someone who has "OTR" is an occupational therapist (the OT part) who is registered (the R part) with NBCOT, which is a national accrediting body. Basically, it means you do your continuing education credits and prove it to the national board, and having the R in one's title indicates you are in a national database as a safe and up to date practitioner. Often, you will also see OTR/L. This additional L just means you are also licensed with your state's certifying board, however some states don't have these boards.
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  •  09-13-2014, 7:23 PM

    Research on Community Mental Health

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  •  03-01-2017, 10:36 PM

    Re: I must disagree with this premise

    Really great to hear your all your thoughts! You all make some very good points......
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  •  03-22-2017, 10:45 PM

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

     As a foreign trained therapist, we are required to do fieldwork experience for 1 year total in different areas of practice. The student is not given an option to choose which clinic or setting she will do the field work. The student has to complete all field work in all clinical settings and has to maintain a certain grade level as evaluated by the designated clinical instructor. Each setting requires that the student carries a full caseload and he/she is graded by the results of the treatment plan he/she creates, ability to carryout certain treatment techniques required by the facility, 3 major written and practical tests as given by the CI and the supervising rehab MD, and special oral presentation given to a panel of rehab staff, students and resident doctors. A thesis which is rehab oriented is the final requirement and is ppresented to school selected rehab specialists' doctors and student. Any questions can be asked by anybody during the presentation. If any of the above has not been met, the student is given 2 weeks to complete all requirement or you will not graduate at all. .
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  •  06-03-2017, 5:15 AM

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

    Hi Tim,

    I just thought I would share with you that speech therapists do use assistants. I recently discovered SLPA's working in the school district I work for.  I listed a brief portion of a recent article below.  I do not know the legal/educational requirements of a SLPA, but just interesting to know they are out there.


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