I currently work as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) in the adult acute care setting at a hospital in San Antonio, Texas.
I’ve been practicing as a COTA for the past three years. My role involves working with patients throughout their hospital admission, who have varying diagnosis, to complete self-care tasks and mobility. Our patient caseload consists of diagnosis from orthopedic surgeries, cardiac patients, neuro patients, or early mobility with critically ill patients in the ICUs. Our OT role is to assess and improve how well these patients will be able to take care of themselves or others once discharged from the hospital. We play a major role in determining the appropriate discharge recommendation for our patients and ultimately what is best for their quality of life and safety.
I love my job because I receive instant gratification when working with my patients, and take pride in being one of the first people to show them how much they can do on their own while recovering. I am able to see firsthand how much patients improve while receiving Occupational Therapy services and the quality of life that returns to them. I find my job challenging at times when I work with patients that refuse to work with OT and it’s clear to see how much they would benefit. Also, at times you come across patients who don’t have any family support, or any type of resources to fall back on. For me, that can be hard because I value family and believe family is very important to have and be apart of. Something I want to see change in the next few years is people’s awareness of occupational therapy across the lifespan. For people to know what our profession is about and be educated on the many benefits that OT can have with any population.
Author: Marissa Garza