We, the Therapy Assistant Association of Alberta, promote the title of Therapy Assistant as opposed to Therapist Assistant. Our professional training and experience provides us with the expertise to provide direct patient care in support of the process of therapy, as opposed to being an assistant to the therapist.”
Therapy Assistants work in a variety of settings.
Speech-Language Pathologist Therapy Assistants (SLPA) work mostly with children in the school system. Some SLP Assistants also work in private practice or with adults in hospitals, long term care centers and in the community .
Physical Therapy Assistants (PTA) and Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTA) may work in hospitals, long term care centers, private practice, clinics, home care and schools.
Recreation Therapy Assistants(RTA) work mainly with adults in long term care or supported living centers or in community settings.
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- Physical Therapy Assistant
- Occupational Therapy Assistant
- Speech-Language Pathologist Therapy Assistant
- Recreation Therapy Assistant
Most employers now require a Therapy/Rehabilitation Assistant diploma from a post secondary institution.
If you are considering becoming a Therapy Assistant, there are four post-secondary institutions that offer Therapy Assistant diplomas in Alberta.
- SAIT –Southern Alberta Institute of Technology offers a 16-month Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant diploma program, with the option of distance education.
- Norquest College offers a two-year Physical Therapy Assistant diploma program. They also offer a two-year Therapeutic Recreation diploma program and a one-year Therapeutic Recreation certificate program.
- Medicine Hat College offers an 18-month Speech Language Pathologist Assistant diploma program and an Occupational/Physical Therapist Assistant diploma program.
- Grant MacEwan College offers a two-year Physical/Occupational Therapist Assistant diploma program OR a two-year Speech Language Pathologist Assistant diploma program.
Note: ATRA (Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association) is currently looking at becoming regulated and going thru the HPA (Health Professions Act) process. Once they become regulated then the role of the Therapy Assistant will be defined much more clearly.