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Occupational/Physiotherapy Assistant

Occupational/physiotherapy assistants can be found throughout New Brunswick’s healthcare system wherever there are occupational therapists or physiotherapists. Working under their direction and supervision, these assistants help implement treatment programs designed to improve and maintain a client’s ability to function independently.

Occupational/physiotherapy assistants work closely with their clients and patients, so it is important to have good interpersonal and communication skills (both oral and written), and remain patient and empathetic with those under physical and emotional stress. Employers in New Brunswick will look for individuals who are organized, follow directions closely, and work well as part of a team.

Personal Characteristics and skills

  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills (both oral and written)
  • Patience
  • Good observation and organizational skills
  • Ability to deal with people who are under physical and emotional stress
  • Ability to follow directions closely and work as part of a team

Occupational/physiotherapy assistants in New Brunswick have a variety of important roles, including but not limited to:

  • Assisting patients with ambulation, treatment, and exercise programs
  • Preparing, removing, and/or applying various treatments to patients such as ultrasound
  • Monitoring patient responses to treatment
  • Assisting patients with walking, transferring, and using mobility aids
  • Teaching patients how to use equipment
  • Adjusting equipment such as canes, walkers, crutches, and wheelchairs
  • Participating within a multi-disciplinary team to develop treatment plans
  • Lifting, transferring, and positioning patients
  • Changing, dressing, and cleaning wounds
  • Motivating and assisting patients with activities of daily living
  • Reporting and documenting observations and changes in patient condition
  • Assisting with departmental operations: scheduling appointments, preparing charts, collecting data, ordering and maintaining supplies and equipment

Occupational/physiotherapy assistants generally work standard weekdays, but some may work evenings and weekends, depending on their place of employment and the schedules of their clients. Since occupational/physiotherapy assistants help patients with their overall mobility, the work is mostly hands-on, so those who are physically fit will thrive in this position.

Occupational/physiotherapy assistants work in a variety of settings, such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation centres and clinics
  • Nursing homes
  • Physiotherapists’ offices and clinics

Occupational/physiotherapy assistants must complete a college Rehabilitation Assistant program.

Education programs offered in Atlantic Canada: