If you are a compassionate and creative individual who is looking for a rewarding opportunity to help people, then a career as an Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistant may be just what you’re looking for. With this combined diploma, you may work as an Occupational Therapist Assistant (OTA), or a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA). This program is offered both at the Medicine Hat Campus and online via distributed learning.
The Occupational Therapist Assistant/Physical Therapist Assistant (OTA/PTA) career is aimed at improving patient/clients’ health, movement, and quality of life. As an OTA/PTA, you will work under the direction of Occupational Therapists (OT) to help clients successfully perform daily activities related to self-care, leisure, and work, school or play. You will also work under the direction of physiotherapists (PT) to help provide treatment to help patients recover from illness or injury to improve patient mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or lessen physical limitations. If you are a compassionate and creative individual who enjoys working with people and being part of the health care and rehabilitation team, this program may be a good fit for you. Working with clients of all ages ranging from infants to seniors with a variety of health conditions, you will learn how to use a variety of interventions to help your clients. The activities could range from games or crafts; group activities; exercise for strength, flexibility, balance and coordination; use of assistive devices, and various electrotherapy and physical modalities. Your clients might have conditions such as back pain, arthritis, heart disease, stroke, cerebral palsy, autism, mental health disorders or dementia among others. An OTA/PTA’s responsibilities also include monitoring and recording client progress, and reporting to the OT or PT.
This program is flexible in that the first 10 courses are common to both the OTA/PTA and SLP Assistant (SLPA) diplomas. This unique approach provides students with an excellent core upon which to build more specific skills depending on their interests. Along with extensive classroom training, students experience practicum training with potential employers in hospitals, private clinics, home care settings, schools, and community programs.
The diploma is offered both on-site (at Medicine Hat College) or via distributed learning. The on-site option is a two-year (five semester) diploma program, whereas the distributed learning (DL) option is completed over a longer period of up to five years. Students may wish to continue on and complete the SLPA diploma after completion of the OTA/PTA diploma. This diploma will also transfer to degree programs.
High School Route
High School diploma with a minimum mark of 60% in each of
Mature Student Route
Transfer Student Route
Academic Transition Plan (ATP)
If you do not possess all of the admission requirements, the Academic Transition Plan (ATP) may provide conditional acceptance to this program, provided space is available. ATP is individualized to meet your needs.
Once you are successful in gaining admission and have received the program package, you must:
Some courses related to this program are found here. Please see the academic calendar or this year's program planning guide for an up-to-date set of courses related to Occupational /Physical Therapist Assistant.
SOCI 2xx (SOCI 203 preferred)
ENGL 1XX or ENGL 2XX (ENGL 252 recommended)*
Graduates of this program will find employment opportunities with:
What is your education going to cost?
Our TUITION and FEES page provides a total cost estimate for your program including books and supplies and related expenses.
Looking for ways to help fund your education?
There are lots of options like student loans, scholarships, bursaries and emergency funding available.
Check out our FINANCIAL AID page for more information.
Many programs offered at Medicine Hat College qualify for transfer credits to other institutions. In some cases, you must transfer to another institution to complete your program and gain your credential.
The ACADEMIC CALENDAR has official information on transfer options for each program.
Please consult the calendar or meet with an academic advisor for more information.
At MHC, we care about students and want to help you succeed.
As a student, there may be times when you require support. Our SERVICES page provides you with links to a number of campus supports including academic success, counselling and care, health and wellness, and many other resources.
Have you always wanted to study abroad?
Enhance your education, share in cultural diversity and embrace new experiences. Visit the INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY PROGRAM section to find out more.
The Occupational/Physical Therapy Assistant program at Medicine Hat College has been accredited by the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program (OTA & PTA EAP) in collaboration with Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada (PEAC) and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). The status of Accreditation was granted to the program on April 30, 2015 for the period until April 30, 2021.
The OTA & PTA EAP contact information is: Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program, Suite 26, 509 Commissioners Road West, London, Ontario, N6J 1Y5, (226) 636-0632, www.otapta.ca.
Continuation Specific to Fieldwork
If you have been employed in the field prior to entering this program, you may be eligible for prior learning assessment. Please contact the Coordinator for further information.
Distributed Learning (DL)
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