Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapist Assistant


Course List

Term 1

NSG-1183: Human Anatomy and Physiology I

This course is the first of two courses that provide a basic introduction to the structure and function of the human body. The micro and macro anatomy of each organ system is examined, and the interrelation of physiology is discussed. The principle of homeostasis is taught and utilized when discussing the correlation between the structure and function of the major organ systems. Students apply course content through online anatomy laboratory practice exercises and in class practice.

OPA-1003: Human Movement and Functions

This course introduces learners to concepts of normal human movement within a three dimensional context. Students learn how to describe the body in motion as it relates to function and mobility. Students also explore concepts of posture including its dynamic transitions through activity. An introduction to basic patient handling and proper body mechanics for the Occupational Therapist Assistant (OTA) and Physiotherapist Assistant (PTA) is reinforced.

COM-1013: Critical Thinking and Writing

In this writing course, students will respond to current issues and news articles via various styles of paragraphs and essays. Students will strive for clarity of message and diplomatic expression of opinion based on fact. Students will practice thinking critically and will organize and hone their writing to ensure clarity and correctness in their messages. Critical Thinking and Writing lays the foundation for a subsequent research- writing course.

IPH-1001: Interprofessional Perspectives - Health

As a new student to a health care profession this course introduces you to the workings of interprofessional teams. Concepts of teamwork, conflict resolution, the health care system and ethics will be presented through a unique interprofessional delivery model.

OPA-1012: Introduction to Rehabilitation

This course introduces the definition and broad concept of rehabilitation including the various forms of its delivery. The specific fields of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy are explored with a focus on principles of theory and models of practice. A foundational understanding of professional practice begins to be formulated through an examination of the role and scope of practice for the OTA/PTA, professional organizations, and governing legislation.

HGD-1013: Human Growth and Development

Using a developmental psychology lens this course focuses on providing students with an opportunity to improve understanding of self. Through personal reflection students will examine the human lifespan from conception and prenatal development through old age and death. Students will gain understanding and perspective of their development across physical, cognitive, social and personality contexts. Examination of fundamental theories, historical arguments/perspectives and current issues provide opportunity for critical thinking and application of influences to one's development within the student's life.

PSY-1003: Psychology I

This course focuses on how we behave. It is an attempt to understand ourselves and others. The primary goal of this course is to see psychology as an objective way of studying human experience.

GED-XXX3: General Education Elective

Term 2

NSG-2183: Human Anatomy and Physiology II

Anatomy and Physiology II continues to examine the normal structure and function of the human adult. The student relates knowledge gained in Anatomy and Physiology I to the study of the endocrine, circulatory, digestive, respiratory, urinary and reproductive systems. The concepts of water, electrolyte and acid-base balance are re-examined building on the foundation established in Anatomy and Physiology I. Learner preparation and learning activities are designed to promote critical thinking.

OPA-2003: OTA Skills: Occupation

This course highlights OT treatment as it applies to the three occupational domains of self-care, productivity and leisure. Techniques within the scope of the OTA role are thoroughly examined including core concepts of activity selection, activity analysis, grading and compensation / adaptation. Consideration of clients across age and diagnostic spectrums are achieved. Through course assignments and structured labs, students develop clinical skill-sets in preparation for Fieldwork Experience.

COM-2033: Communications for Health Sciences

This course, designed for students in the health field, further develops students' communication proficiency. Students create workplace documents and research reports and share their findings through oral presentations. Advocacy and peer education will drive the research and documentation process. Current health issues and research will serve as the impetus for creation of informed research reports and presentations.

OPA-2013: Clinical Conditions in Rehabilitation

This course outlines commonly encountered diagnoses and medical conditions where rehabilitation services are often indicated. A general overview of conditions, their causes and basic medical management are discussed. Emphasis however, is focused on how occupational and physical therapy approaches are used to facilitate recovery.

OPA-2023: OTA/PTA Skills: Foundations of Therapeutic Exercise

Therapeutic exercise will be a large focus for this course. Students will begin to develop an understanding of the body's response to therapeutic exercise. Students will develop an appreciation for how strength, range of motion and stretch are key components to an effective treatment plan. Principles of indication and exercise prescription, as well as contraindications will be addressed. Lab session will allow the student to develop and practice handling techniques that promote safe and effective patient outcomes.

GED-XXX3: General Education Elective

GED-XXX3: General Education Elective

Academic Break

Academic Break

Term 3

OPA-3001: Field Experience Prep

This course addresses topics to prepare students for practical Fieldwork Experience. Clinical documentation and communication are studied with an emphasis on accuracy, relevancy and priority. An introduction to Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan (SOAP) and Data Action, Response, Plan (DARP) formats are covered. Basic principles and practices of Infection Control as it applies to rehabilitative settings are discussed. An introduction to Workload Measurement is also provided. Emerging personal professionalism is studied with the creation of a Learning Portfolio at the conclusion of the course. This tool is used during work-site placements to guide personal development and promote self-reflection.

OPA-3023: OTA/PTA Skills: Transfers, Gait and Mobility

This course explores the principles and techniques applied to facilitate a client's ability to transfer, ambulate and mobilize to their full potential. Concepts of balance retraining are covered. The student will be encouraged to develop an appreciation for how movement retraining, combining functional and repetitive practice, results in best client outcomes. The use of gait aids, orthoses, bracing, and other assistive aids will be highlighted.

OPA-3033: OTA/PTA Clinical Skills: Electrophysical Modalities and Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation

This course explores additional therapeutic techniques available to the OTA/PTA. Electrophysical agents and hydrotherapy are introduced. Foundations of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation including aerobic exercise training and respiratory/breathing exercise are also studied. Finally, strategies for effective exercise instruction and client coaching are explored.

OPA-3043: OTA Clinical Skills: Person and the Environment

This course highlights Occupational Therapy treatment as it applies at the level of the person and the environment. Techniques within the scope of the OTA role is thoroughly examined including concepts of seating, upper extremity function and positioning, environmental adaptation and advocacy. Consideration of clients across age and diagnostic spectrums is achieved. Through course assignments and structured labs students enhance their clinical skill-sets in preparation for Fieldwork Experience.

OPA-3053: Enhanced Therapeutic Skills

This course examines tailored and effective approaches that can be used by an OTA/PTA to enhance therapeutic encounters with clients. Specific focus is on conditions of impairment related to communication, cognition, perception and mental health. Laboratory work promotes an experiential component along with formal skills acquisition. Concepts of therapeutic use of self and group treatment are addressed.

OPAF-3018: Field Experience I

Students engage in an 8-week field experience under the supervision of a registered Occupational and/or Physical Therapist and supported where feasible by trained OTA/PTAs. This first experience provides opportunity for students to witness the integration of theory within clinical settings. Skills within the assistant role are practiced and progressed from a basic-level to an intermediary-level of competency. Students use their personal learning portfolios to track and enhance the learning experience.

Term 4

OPA-4003: Clinical Case Studies: Consolidation

This course follows a group-based format that allow students to engage in solution-focused learning. Course content chronicles select patients whose rehabilitative profiles reflect diversity in diagnosis, personal attributes and complexity of care. Within their role as an OTA/PTA, students integrate cumulative course material as they document the therapeutic process, implement and modify treatment plans, anticipate barriers to progress and generate solutions that promote therapeutic success and satisfaction. Elements of safety, interdisciplinary collaboration, advocacy and professional ethics will be woven into the learning process to promote enhanced consolidation.

OPA-4013: Rehabilitation: Broader Perspectives and Current Trends

This course explores rehabilitation from both a national and international perspective. Rehabilitation as a component of the Canadian Health Care System is compared to that of its place on the global stage. Students become familiar with the World Health Organization and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Current trends in research (including roots of international origin) are discussed. Topics of classroom discussion and assignment foster an appreciation for how rehabilitation services are influenced by research, resources, and both geographic and cultural diversity.

OPA-4023: Professional Practice

This course explores select components of professional practice: non-clinical supportive roles, worksite logistics, personal presentation and time management. In addition, students have the opportunity to become broadly familiar with resume and interview trends in the healthcare field, creative job search strategies and resources that can support an OTA/PTA that is employment-ready.

OPAF-4018: Field Experience II

OPA-4034: Capstone Consolidation

This course allows students to appreciate the cumulative course material studied in the OTA/PTA program. As students produce written work assignments, they are encouraged to integrate both the theoretical and practical elements of their training. Reflection and self-analysis allow students to strengthen their personal platforms in preparation to launch from the academic setting to the professional community environment.

Program Maps

Current Students

Current students can view program maps from previous years on the mylambton website. 

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Health Sciences
519-542-7751 ext 2435


Program Information

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