3237 Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment

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Lead statement

This unit group includes workers, not elsewhere classified, who perform various technical therapy and assessment functions. Some may assist professionals such as audiologists, speech-language pathologists, ophthalmologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. They are employed in hospitals, clinics, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centres, educational institutions and in the private practices of the professionals they assist.

Example Titles

  • occupational therapy assistant
  • hearing instrument practitioner
  • communicative disorders assistant
  • physiotherapy technician
  • speech therapy assistant
  • ophthalmic assistant
  • ophthalmologist assistant
  • ophthalmic technologist
  • speech technician
  • audiology technician
  • audiometric assistant
  • ophthalmic technician
  • audiometric technician

Inclusion(s)

  • communication disorders instructor

Main duties

Hearing instrument practitioners perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Examine adult clients to assess hearing loss using diagnostic evaluation and electro acoustic testing
  • Recommend and dispense appropriate type of hearing instrument
  • Take earmold impressions for use in the manufacture of hearing devices
  • Fit, adjust and make minor modifications to hearing instruments
  • Educate clients in appropriate use, care and maintenance of hearing instruments
  • Perform follow-up examinations and readjustments.

Audiometric technicians perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Under the supervision of audiologists, administer tests such as pure tone hearing screening, impedance tests and noise level measurements using equipment such as audiometers and sound level meters to determine hearing thresholds of patients
  • Instruct patients on test procedures and record results
  • Monitor, check and calibrate auditory equipment
  • May take earmold impressions and fit and adjust hearing instruments.

Communicative disorders assistants and speech-language pathology assistants perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Assist speech-language pathologists and audiologists during assessment of patients
  • Carry out treatment programs, document results and develop materials for use with patients, under the supervision of speech-language pathologists or audiologists
  • Document patient rehabilitation progress
  • Check and maintain therapeutic equipment and materials.

Ophthalmic medical assistants perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate ophthalmic testing and measuring instruments to aid ophthalmologists in assessing patients' vision
  • Record test results
  • Assist ophthalmologists in office surgery
  • Administer eye drops, ointments and medications as directed by ophthalmologists
  • Clean and maintain instruments and equipment used during examinations
  • Take patients' general medical and ophthalmic history
  • Perform various administrative duties.

Physiotherapy assistants and occupational therapy assistants perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Under the direction of physiotherapists and/or occupational therapists, carry out treatment programs such as thermotherapy, traction, hydrotherapy and electrotherapeutic techniques to rehabilitate patients with various injuries or disabilities to maximize their ability to independently manage daily activities.

Employment requirements

  • Hearing instrument practitioners require completion of a three-year college diploma in a hearing instrument specialist program, including a period of supervised training.
  • Licensure with a regulatory body is required for hearing instrument practitioners in all provinces except in Ontario where membership with the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners (AHIP) is required. Hearing instrument practitioners can prescribe and dispense hearing instruments except in Ontario where dispensing is dependent on a prescription from a physician or audiologist.
  • Communicative disorders assistants and speech-language pathology assistants require completion of a three- to four-year college program.
  • Audiometric technicians usually require a specialization in industrial audiometry testing.
  • Ophthalmic medical assistants require completion of a one- to two-year college program or a two-year hospital-based training program in ophthalmic medical technology or A minimum of one year of supervised practical training under an ophthalmologist and completion of an approved ophthalmic assistant home study program.
  • Physiotherapy assistants require completion of a two- to three-year college program in physical rehabilitation therapy or A two-year physical therapy assistant (PTA) program and supervised practical training.
  • Occupational therapy assistants require completion of a two-year occupational therapy assistant (OTA) college program.

Additional information

  • In most provinces occupational therapy assistants (OTA) and physiotherapy assistants (PTA) receive training through a single OTA/PTA program in community colleges.

Exclusions

  • Medical technologists and technicians (except dental health) (321321)
  • Other technical occupations in health care (323323)
  • Physiotherapy helpers and chiropractic aides (in 34143414 Other assisting occupations in support of health services)