Thursday, May 22, 2014

OT Student Corner | The difference between COTA and OTR

As a follow up to last week's OT Student Corner, I thought I'd take a minute to explain the difference between an OTR and a COTA.

An OTR is a Registered Occupational Therapist. An occupational therapist can work independently and ca do all aspects of occupational therapy treatment, including completing evaluations, writing goals, implementing treatment, and supervising COTA's and OT students.

A COTA is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. A COTA must work under the supervision of an occupational therapist and can do many aspects of occupational therapy treatment, including implementing treatment, contributing to the evaluation process by implementing delegated assessments after competency has been demonstrated, and supervision of COTA students.

As discussed last week, an occupational therapist must obtain a Master's degree and an occupational therapy assistant must obtain an Associate's degree. Both occupational therapists and certified occupational therapy assistants can serve as leaders for the profession of occupational therapy through their state occupational therapy associations, as well as through AOTA.

For more information from AOTA, this is a link to the Guidelines for the Supervision, Roles, and Responsibilities During the Delivery of Occupational Therapy Services, which is an AOTA official document.

For further reading on this topic, check out these great posts by The Anonymous OT:
A "Who's Who" of Occupational Therapy &
The OTR/COTA Relationship

OT Student Corner is where I answer questions about the field of occupational therapy that I’ve received from students and prospective students. Have a question you’d like to see answered? Leave a comment below or send me an email at [AbbyPediatricOT {at} gmail {dot} com] and I’ll try to answer it in an upcoming post!
For more OT Student Corner posts, click here.

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