Physiotherapist Assistant - Occupational Therapist Assistant - BC

“CDI gave me the opportunity and confidence to pursue a career that I really enjoy. I have always wanted a career in the healthcare field.” - Nikki N., CDI College Graduate

Physiotherapist assistants (PTAs) and occupational therapist assistants (OTAs) work with physiotherapists and occupational therapists to aid in the recovery of patients. CDI College's Physiotherapist Assistant - Occupational Therapist Assistant program is for students with a strong interest in human development, including injury, functional movement, human disorders and more.

Graduates of this diploma program have the skills, knowledge, values and behaviours necessary for employment in clinics, hospitals, and rehabilitation centres. Courses focus on understanding the body and human development. Students will study bio-chemistry, body mechanics and systems, anatomy and physiology, therapeutic exercise, and the use of advanced technological equipment.

Students put their knowledge to use in clinical placements in the community. Students are given an opportunity to complete their practicum in whichever specialty field they choose.

The Physiotherapist Assistant – Occupational Therapist Assistant program at CDI College in Surrey is seeking accreditation from the Occupational Therapist Assistant and Physiotherapist Assistant Education Accreditation Program (OTA & PTA EAP) of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Canada. The Physiotherapist Assistant – Occupational Therapist Assistant program at CDI College has been granted Candidacy Status, which denotes an affiliation with the OTA & PTA EAP and is a pre-requisite for accreditation of the education program. Candidacy Status is not an accreditation status and does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation once the program undergoes a full accreditation review.

This program is 73 weeks in length.

Job Opportunities
  • Hospitals
  • Physiotherapy Clinics
  • Long-Term Care Facilities
  • Sports Medicine Clinics
  • Health and Fitness Spas
  • Public Health Clinics
  • Recreational Therapy Clinics
  • Wellness Centres

Physiotherapist Assistant - Occupational Therapist Assistant - BC

Program Courses

The program outline below is for British Columbia.

Code Course Name Hours
  • SSSE Student Success Strategies 25

    • This course will introduce students to skills and concepts that will help them achieve personal, academic, and career success.
  • INTE Introduction to Computers 50

    • This course covers working with the Windows operating system to manage files and folders and customize the desktop, creating documents, and using the Internet for communication and research.
  • IRHE Introduction to Rehabilitation 25

    • This course introduces PTA/OTA students to the field of rehabilitation. It addresses the diversity of the roles and relationships of health professionals within the field of rehabilitation and within the health care system. Students will address issues including professionalism, the roles and responsibilities of the PTA/OTA, models of health care and professional ethics. The course will discuss the Canadian Health Care system, professional conduct, professional boundaries as well as the importance of confidentiality between the client and the practitioners.
  • PRSB Pre-Science Basics 25

    • This course provides an introduction to the basic principles of chemistry, equations, medical terminology, and human physiology in order to prepare students for the more advanced course of study in this diploma program. Study skills for learning the sciences are also discussed in order to facilitate the student’s learning process.
  • ANPE Anatomy and Physiology 125

    • This component of the program is designed to introduce students to the structures and functions of the human body. Emphasis is placed on the musculoskeletal and neurological systems as well as on surface anatomy. This course will provide the foundation for the study of Human Disorders, the biomechanics of human motion and therapeutic interventions for disabling conditions.
  • HUDE Human Development 75

    • This course traces human development from conception to death. Topics include the interaction of heredity and environment, age group characteristics, physiological and psychological problems that appear throughout the lifespan. A focus is placed on the appreciation of how human development relates to the disciplines of PTA and OTA.
  • FMVE Functional Movement 75

    • Students are provided with an understanding of normal human motion. The course addresses topics that include joint mobility, muscle tone, range of motion, normal gait and normal posture. Students are also introduced to skills including palpation and observation skills, limb and patient handling. This provides an emphasis on both theoretical and practical skills.
  • HDOE Human Disorders 75

    • Human Disorders introduces students to a variety of disabling conditions, based on broad diagnostic categories. This course addresses both physical and psycho-social conditions specific to the pediatric, adult and geriatric population. They are addressed within the framework of impairment, disability and handicap. The course provides a brief review of the body systems and disorders related to each of these systems.
  • CP1E Clinical Physiotherapy I - Orthopaedics 75

    • The goal of this course is to develop the student's knowledge and skill in therapeutic activities in physical therapy.  Topics include therapeutic techniques for orthopedic conditions.  An emphasis will be placed on practical skills, as well as the indications, contraindications and precautions for a variety of interventions.
  • CM1E Communications I - Client Care 50

    • This course equips the student with the skills needed to deal effectively with clients and colleagues in the health care setting. It addresses topics including verbal and non-verbal communication, effective listening and cultural differences in communication. A variety of learning strategies are employed including group discussion, role playing, group exercises and individual assignments.
  • CP2E Clinical Physiotherapy II - Therapeutic Exercise 50

    • The goal of this course is to develop the student's knowledge and skill in therapeutic activities in physical therapy. Topics include therapeutic exercise techniques for a variety of conditions. An emphasis will be placed on practical skills as well as the indications, contraindications, and precautions for a variety of interventions. As part of this course, students will also gain an overview of the area of therapeutic recreation and the role that the PTA/OTA can occupy in this sector.
  • CM2E Communications II - Client Record Management 25

    • This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the communication and administrative responsibilities of the assistant as it relates to client record management. An emphasis will be placed on medical charting and maintaining clinical records. Students will acquire a basic understanding of medical terminology to allow continuity of care.
  • GERE Introduction to Gerontology 50

    • The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a biopsychosocial perspective on aging. Individual and group treatments focusing on medications, mobility, fall prevention, vision impairments and communications impairments. The course will focus on working with elders who have conditions and diseases of the aged and aging, dysphasia, cerebrovascular accidents, osteoporosis, Parkinson's disease, orthopaedic conditions, cardiovascular conditions, pulmonary conditions, oncological conditions and cognitive impairment/dementia and related conditions.
  • CP3E Clinical Physiotherapy III - Neurological 50

    • The goal of this course is to develop the student's knowledge and skill in therapeutic activities in physical therapy. Topics include therapeutic techniques for neurological conditions. An emphasis will be placed on practical skills, as well as the indications, contraindications and precautions for a variety of interventions.
  • TRDE Therapeutic Recreation Program Facilitation 50

    • This course will explore the importance of using recreation and leisure activity as therapy and the role of the rehabilitation assistant in the implementation and facilitation of therapeutic recreation services. Students will develop the ability to implement a variety of individual and group techniques, utilize a variety of assistive devices and techniques, apply therapeutic recreation content and services, and apply activity and task analysis in the delivery of therapeutic service. Students will examine the potential benefits in a variety of recreational activities.
  • PHYE Physical Agents 50

    • Students are exposed to the theory and application of therapeutic modalities used in physiotherapy. An emphasis is placed on indications, contraindications and special safety considerations in the application of a variety of modalities. In addition, students will be provided with the practical skills required to safely and effectively apply these modalities to a patient.
  • RBPE Rehabilitation Processes / CPR and First Aid 75

    • Students are provided with the knowledge and practical skills required for basic patient care management. This course provides an overview of patient positioning and draping, wheelchairs, lifts and transfers. The knowledge from the previous Anatomy and Physiology, Human Development, and Human Disorders courses is applied to assist in the determination of the purpose, benefit, functional sequence and safety precautions of movement and positioning procedures. Students are also provided with insight into accessibility issues for our patient population. CPR and First Aid training is included in this course.
  • CCSE Clinical Case Studies 25

    • The purpose of this course is to provide the student with the opportunity to integrate and consolidate the theory and practice of managing complex patient situations. The student will use critical thinking skills to appropriately implement components of a treatment plan as prescribed by and under the supervision of a Physiotherapist. An understanding of the roles of other health care professionals in a patient’s care and their interaction with these services will be explored. The course will focus on the more complex patients who require Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and other disciplines ofthe health care team. This course will be a combination of small group tutorials and problem solving sessions along with a self-directed study component. The students will have the opportunity to practice their problem solving skills in complex patient situations.
  • PSKE Professional Skills 25

    • This course is designed to equip students with interpersonal skills identified by employers as essential for success in the professional world. Using a variety of instructional methods including case studies, group exercises, and discussion, students learn and practice key communication skills.
  • OT1E OTA Therapeutic Techniques in Physical Disabilities 125

    • This course introduces students to the philosophy and principles of the practice of Occupational Therapy and provides the opportunity to learn about the scope of service of the OT and OTA. A variety of physical disabilities will be explored and students will be familiarized with intervention strategies and therapeutic activities.
  • OT2E OTA - Therapeutic Techniques in Psychiatry 100

    • The objective of this course is to introduce students to the field of Occupational Therapy in Psychiatry, familiarizing them with the theory and therapeutic techniques applied by the Occupational Therapist working in Psychiatry.
  • OT3E OTA - Therapeutic Techniques in Pediatrics 75

    • This course will cover the fundamentals of Pediatrics that an OTA needs to be familiar with. Pediatric health conditions, the Occupational Therapy process, pediatric assistive devices and the scope of practice will be covered.
  • CLPL Clinical Placement 500

    • This mandatory 500-hour Clinical Placement provides students with an opportunity to develop and practice basic competency level skills in observation and treatment techniques under the supervision of either physiotherapist or occupational therapist. Based on the student’s area of interest, the Clinical Placement can be completed in any of these specialty settings. The practicum is also an opportunity for learning new skills specific to the chosen setting.
  • CESE Career and Employment Strategies 25

    • This course looks at the planning, preparation, execution, and follow-up stages of an interview.