Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapist Assistant

OPTA
City: Sarnia
Two-Year with Placement Ontario College Diploma
SEP Open

Overview

Are you an empathetic individual who is interested in the overall health and wellness of others? Explore a career as an Occupational Therapy or Physiotherapist Assistant - the need has never been greater.

With ever-increasing numbers of aging people requiring assistance to continue a full life and with changes to the way health care services are delivered, the need has never been greater for Occupational Therapist Assistants and Physiotherapist Assistants.

The Lambton College Occupational Therapist & Physiotherapist Assistant, Ontario College Diploma program will train students to support and enable individuals of all ages whose ability to function in their daily activities has been impaired due to illness, injury, surgery, or chronic health conditions. Students learn how to assist in implementing treatment plans that promote a client's independence in activities that are meaningful and important to them.

The unique program curriculum will engage students throughout the four terms, as students learn how to assist clients to achieve their health goals and improve their quality of life. The faculty members in the program are experienced occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and assistants who work in a variety of health care settings. Faculty will ensure that students are well equipped with theoretical knowledge, training, and hands-on experience to become successful health care professionals. The integration of in-class studies with hands-on experience is accomplished through rich experiential lab opportunities and practice in a variety of clinical fieldwork placement settings.

Admission Requirements

O.S.S.D. or equivalent with:

  • Grade 12 English C or U
  • Grade 11 or 12 Biology C or U
    -or-
    Grade 11 or 12 Chemistry C or U
    (both recommended, only one required)

Academic admission requirements can be obtained through Academic Upgrading and the Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Certificates & Diplomas (PHSP) program at Lambton College. All course requirements must be completed no later than the first day of classes of term one.
A headshot of Wendy in the OPTA lab.

Wendy Posadas - Mom of two and OPTA student

Wendy's Story

"After years of having a career in a creative field, I felt a desire to move into something health care related. While researching options and opportunities, I had some family experience with various therapies through local services and the OTA/PTA career path really caught my attention. I was excited about the possibilities that came with working in this field.

I love that all of the teachers have actual field experience. Their field knowledge has helped me gain further understanding of the role of an occupational therapy assistant and the many career opportunities that are available."

Costs

  • Year 1 $4,100.94
  • Year 2 $4,018.94

Please Note: These fees apply to the 2024-2025 academic year and are subject to change. Fees do not include books (unless specifically noted), supplies or living costs.

Additional Fees

  • Textbooks (per year)
    $1,000.00
  • Passport to Placement
    $40.00
  • Name Tag
    $15.00
  • Police Records Check
    $40.00

Travel Expenses

Students are responsible for all costs associated with traveling to clinical placements.

Technology Requirements

In order to keep pace with the requirements of each and every course in your program, Lambton College requires that each student have access to a laptop while studying at our college.

Labs & Equipment

Courses

OPA-1183
Human Anatomy & 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 selected organ system are examined, and the interrelation of physiology is discussed. The constituents of the body are introduced with focus on foundational concepts such as movement, support, and transportation. Course content is designed with OTA/PTA applications and acts as a framework for understanding rehabilitation of the human body.

OPA-1003
Human Movement & 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.

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.

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.

COM-1013
Critical Thinking & Writing

In this writing course, students respond to current issues and news articles via various styles of paragraphs and essays. Students practice thinking critically and organize and hone their writing to ensure clarity and correctness in their messages. Students explore different perspectives, and through synthesis, analysis, and response, strive for clarity of message and diplomatic expression of opinion based on fact. One of the pillars of Lambton College is a commitment to sustainability and equity, diversity, and inclusion, including Indigenization of the curriculum; where appropriate, readings in this course will reflect this commitment. Critical Thinking and Writing lays the foundation for a subsequent research-writing course.

HGD-1013
Human Growth & Development

Using a developmental psychology lens this course focuses on providing students with an opportunity to improve understanding of development and self in the context of global community. Students will examine the human lifespan from infancy to old age, across physical, cognitive, social and personality contexts. Foundational theories, socio-cultural and historical context, as well as an examination of current issues within Canada, provide the learner with opportunities for critical thinking and a better understanding of the influences on their own development and self-awareness. Applied learning assignments provide learners with the opportunity to demonstrate learning while also adding to their co-curricular record. Global partnership, diversity and equity, epigenetic change, and transgenerational impact are recurring themes throughout.

GED-XXX3
General Education Elective

OPA-2183
Human Anatomy & Physiology II

This course is the second of two courses that provide a basic introduction to the structure and function of the human body. The constituents of the body are introduced with focus on foundational concepts such as communication, control, integration, and reproduction. Students will continue to develop their musculoskeletal knowledge base while expanding into interrelated body systems. Course content is designed with OTA/PTA applications and acts as a framework for understanding rehabilitation of the human body.

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.

PSY-1003
Psychology

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.

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 (Select 2)

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 & 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 & Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitiation

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 & 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

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.

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 & 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

During the field experience, skills within the assistant role are practiced and progressed from an intermediatory-level of a competency to a level where the student will be fully competent to enter practice.

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Have Questions?

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Contact

Program Information

1-844-LAMBTON

School of Fire Science, Health & Community Services

After Graduation

Employment Opportunities

A student holding a prop in lab and posing for photo.

Upon graduation, students are prepared to work as an occupational therapist and physiotherapist assistant under the supervision of a registered occupational therapist or physiotherapist. Employment opportunities with competiive salaries are readily available in a variety of settings such as, hospitals, long term care homes, community agencies, private clinics, schools, and children's treatment centres.

Accreditations & Certifications

Certificates & Training

Students in this program will obtain the following certifications as part of the program curriculum:

  • Gentle Persuasive Approach
  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training

Placement

A student wrapping another student's hand during a simulator patient session.
Proof of certain vaccinations and police record checks may be required.

Vaccinations & Police Record Checks

Students considering this program should be aware that there may be field and clinical placement requirements. Many placements require students have proof of certain vaccinations and police record checks.

Once you’ve applied, you can log in to mylambton.ca and view the program-specific Field & Clinical Placement Requirements. If you need information about these requirement before applying, please contact placementinfo@lambtoncollege.ca.

Placement Schedule

Students will have the opportunity to acquire hands-on experience in unpaid placements in the second year of the program. There will be two, seven-week long placements where students will obtain over 500 hours of Occupational Therapy Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant experience. Placement sites include hospitals, clinics, home care, long term care homes, schools, and children's treatment centres.

More Information

Technology Requirements

It is recommended that students purchase a laptop with a Windows operating system.

Internet Speed Requirements

For best performance for students learning remotely, an internet connection with a minimum of 40 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload speed is recommended in order to effectively use video conferencing and remote lecture delivery software as well as, other online resources remotely. Due to the large area over which students may be dispersed, we are unable to recommend a specific provider, so you will need to inquire around your area to find one that best suits your needs.

Minimum Laptop Requirements

In order to access the internet and virtually-delivered software and courseware, student laptops should include the following at a minimum. By meeting the following specifications, students will be equipped to access software and courseware on their laptop through the internet:

  • Intel i5 8th Gen Processor or equivalent
  • 16 GB of RAM (with a minimum of 8 GB)
  • 100 GB HDD or more
  • HD Graphics
  • Webcam with a microphone
  • Wireless 802.11n/ac 5ghz capable
  • Windows Operating System (Windows 11)

Software

To ensure students are getting the most our of their classroom experience, some software will be required.

Lambton College has made this software easily accessible online. Students can leverage our Microsoft Office 365 software packages and services. In addition, much of the software you require for your courses will be available on demand for use on any device - on or off campus.