Occupational Therapy Assistant

The Bachelor of Health Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant (BHS-OTA) Program will prepare students to practice as occupational therapy assistants who will then work under the supervision of occupational therapists in their career. Occupational therapy assistants are skilled health professionals who provide services to individuals across the lifespan to maximize their independence in meaningful everyday activities. OTAs use research, scientific evidence, and a holistic approach to incorporate an individual’s valued occupations into the intervention process. The BHS-OTA degree provides an additional degree option for students who wish to complete an undergraduate degree that allows for immediate employment in a health profession with high employment and entry-level salaries. In addition, graduates of the BHS-OTA program will have the opportunity to continue their education by pursuing a clinical doctorate degree in occupational therapy should they wish to practice at a higher practitioner level as an occupational therapist, and/or the option of completing a PhD to pursue a career in rehabilitation science, all while being able to work as a licensed OTA.The BHS-OTA will prepare students for entry-level practice in diverse practice settings including hospitals, schools, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, early intervention programs, mental health programs, community agencies, and emerging areas of practice.  At the completion of their education, MU OTA students will:
     - Utilize and integrate evidence into professional practice to ensure high quality health care services and use of scientifically supported interventions.  Use research to make informed decisions for best practice.
     - Demonstrate clinical competence as an entry-level OTA in order to meet the demands of an ever-changing practice environment in rural and metropolitan areas and with a variety of client populations.
     - Address the occupational needs of individuals and communities to improve community health outcomes.
     - Participate in lifelong learning behaviors reflective of professionalism as expected in the healthcare environment.
     - Demonstrate high level professionalism behaviors and adherence to the Code of Ethics as they develop a professional identity through a baccalaureate project in the area of clinical practice, administration, leadership, advocacy, or education.
     –Develop the skills necessary for cultivating intraprofessional and interprofessional relationships as all individuals work toward common goal of improved outcomes.

Common Career Paths

You can do nearly anything with a Mizzou degree, but here are some common career paths taken by graduates of this major: