Job Description: COTA Supervisor

Title:  COTA Supervisor
Reports to: Executive Director and Program Director

Responsibilities:

  • COTA Supervision Tasks
    • Provide guidance and oversight to the COTA or occupational therapy assistant related to the delivery of occupational therapy services and the facilitation of professional growth and competence. It is the responsibility of the occupational therapist and the occupational therapy assistant to seek the appropriate quality and frequency of supervision to ensure safe and effective occupational therapy service delivery.
    • A variety of types and methods of supervision may be used. Methods may include direct face-to-face contact and indirect contact. Examples of methods or types of supervision that involve direct face-to-face contact include but are not limited to observation, modeling, co-treatment, discussions, teaching, instruction, and video teleconferencing. Examples of methods or types of supervision that involve indirect contact include but are not limited to phone conversations, written correspondence, electronic exchanges, and other methods using secure telecommunication technology. All methods should be compliant with confidentiality requirements of government agencies, facilities, employers, or other appropriate bodies.
    • Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants must document a supervision plan and supervision contacts. Documentation should include the (1) frequency of supervisory contact, (2) method(s) or type(s) of supervision, (3) content areas addressed, (4) names and credentials of the persons participating in the supervisory process.

General Roles and Responsibilities of the Occupational Therapist and the Occupational Therapy Assistant

  • The occupational therapist is responsible for all aspects of occupational therapy service delivery and is accountable for the safety and effectiveness of the occupational therapy service delivery process. The occupational therapy service delivery process involves evaluation, intervention planning, intervention implementation, intervention review, and outcome evaluation.
  • The occupational therapist must be directly involved in the delivery of services including during the initial evaluation and regularly throughout the course of intervention and outcome evaluation.
  • The occupational therapy assistant delivers occupational therapy services under the supervision of and in partnership with the occupational therapist.
  • It is the responsibility of the occupational therapist to determine when to delegate responsibilities to occupational therapy assistants. It is the responsibility of the occupational therapy assistant who performs the delegated responsibilities to demonstrate competency.
  • The occupational therapist and the occupational therapy assistant should be able to demonstrate and document competency for clinical reasoning and judgment during the service delivery process as well as for the performance of specific techniques, assessments, and intervention methods used.
  • When delegating aspects of occupational therapy services, the occupational therapist considers the following factors:
    1. The complexity of the client’s
    2. The knowledge, skill, and competence of the occupational therapy assistant
    3. The nature and complexity of the intervention
    4. The needs and requirements of the practice setting

Specific Roles and Responsibilities During the Delivery of Occupational Therapy Services

Regardless of the setting in which occupational therapy services are delivered, the occupational therapist and the occupational therapy assistant assume the following generic responsibilities during evaluation, intervention, and outcomes evaluation.  

  • Evaluation
    • The occupational therapist directs the evaluation process.
    • The occupational therapist is responsible for directing all aspects of the initial contact during the occupational therapy evaluation, including: a. determining the need for service, b. defining the problems within the domain of occupational therapy that need to be addressed, c. determining the client’s goals and priorities, d. establishing intervention priorities, e. determining specific further assessment needs, and f. determining specific assessment tasks that can be delegated to the occupational therapy assistant.
    • The occupational therapist initiates and directs the evaluation, interprets the data, and develops the intervention plan.
    • The occupational therapy assistant contributes to the evaluation process by The American Occupational Therapy Association, 4720 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814 4 implementing delegated assessments and by providing verbal and written reports of observations and client capacities to the occupational therapist.
    • The occupational therapist interprets the information provided by the occupational therapy assistant and integrates that information into the evaluation and decision making process.
  • Intervention Planning
    • The occupational therapist has overall responsibility for the development of the occupational therapy intervention plan.
    • The occupational therapist and the occupational therapy assistant collaborate with the client to develop the plan.
    • The occupational therapy assistant is responsible for being knowledgeable about evaluation results and for providing input into the intervention plan, based on client needs and priorities.
  • Intervention Implementation
    • The occupational therapist has overall responsibility for implementing the intervention.
    • When delegating aspects of the occupational therapy intervention to the occupational therapy assistant, the occupational therapist is responsible for providing appropriate supervision.
    • The occupational therapy assistant is responsible for being knowledgeable about the client’s occupational therapy goals.
    • The occupational therapy assistant selects, implements, and makes modifications to therapeutic activities and interventions that are consistent with demonstrated competency levels, client goals, and the requirements of the practice setting.
  • Intervention Review
    • The occupational therapist is responsible for determining the need for continuing, modifying, or discontinuing occupational therapy services.
    • The occupational therapy assistant contributes to this process by exchanging information with and providing documentation to the occupational therapist about the client’s responses to and communications during intervention.
  • Outcome Evaluation
    • The occupational therapist is responsible for selecting, measuring, and interpreting outcomes that are related to the client’s ability to engage in occupations.
    • The occupational therapy assistant is responsible for being knowledgeable about the client’s targeted occupational therapy outcomes and for providing information and documentation related to outcome achievement.
    • The occupational therapy assistant may implement outcome measurements and provide needed client discharge resources.

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